Just before the buzzer on Monday night, Kyle Kuzma hit a three on a brilliant playcall from Frank Vogel to give the Lakers a 124-121 win over the Denver Nuggets, as he went off for 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting.
LeBron James said Monday night the Lakers needed to be the third star if they are to win a championship, and it continued a strong stretch of play from Kuzma. He has been one of the few Lakers in the bubble to shoot the ball well and he’s also taken a greater interest on the defensive end of the floor, which bodes well for L.A. as they gear up for the playoffs.
The player contesting Kuzma’s game-winner was the incredibly long Bol Bol — admittedly late with his closeout — and afterwards Kuz was asked about shooting over Bol and gave an all-time answer of “I think Jesus could be in front of me, and I would probably still shoot it.” It’s a spectacular response and one that the TNT Tuesday night crew had some fun with, with Shaq warning him that Jesus might just “shut his ass down” the next game.
Dwyane Wade and Vince Carter were rolling after that, and Candace Parker added that while Kuz’s confidence is good it has also been known to occasionally lead to the young forward shooting the Lakers out of games. There’s no doubt that L.A. is going to need Kuzma in the playoffs in a few games to do some of the heavy lifting as defenses focus on LeBron and Anthony Davis, but there’s certainly not a confidence issue for Kuz.