The Lakers need to find a new crunch-time scorer after last week’s trade that sent Lou Williams to the Rockets, writes Mark Medina of The Orange County Register. Williams inherited the job after Kobe Bryant retired, but there’s no clear favorite to take his place. D’Angelo Russell has been productive since Williams left, averaging 23.3 points in the past three games, and he made two 3-pointers in the final minute of Tuesday’s loss to Charlotte. “They still have a problem with scoring down the stretch. As a team, they’ll have to figure out who is their go-to guy,” Williams said. “A few of them have it. But it’s a matter of collectively who they’re going to put the ball in whoever’s hands and live with that guy.”
There’s more tonight from the Pacific Division:
- David Nwaba made a positive impression in his first game as a Laker, relays Joey Ramirez of NBA.com. Last fall, Nwaba landed a spot with the Lakers’ D-League affiliate at a tryout, and he signed a 10-day contract on Tuesday. Nwaba, who comes to the NBA with a strong defensive reputation, saw five minutes of playing time late in Tuesday’s game. “It was a good experience,” he said. “I took the challenge. I wasn’t afraid of the challenge. I’m just trying to showcase my skills on the defensive end. I think I did an OK job about it.”
- Suns coach Earl Watson believes his team is in need of a tough guy to watch out for its scorers, according to ESPN.com. Watson was angry after Tuesday’s loss in Memphis, particularly about an elbow from Vince Carter that knocked down Devin Booker. Carter was ejected, but Watson said the incident changed the momentum of the game and highlighted the Suns’ need for an enforcer. “We have to find someone in free agency or the first chance we get who can protect our top offensive players,” he said.
- Kings guard Tyreke Evans is excited to be back in Sacramento, where he won Rookie of the Year honors seven years ago, writes Shahbaz Khan of NBA.com. Evans, who was part of the deal that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans, says he has become a different type of player. “I’m more mature now,” he said. “Now, it’s about me knowing how to make the right play and I think that I’ve gotten better at that.”