Former A&M Consolidated/Texas A&M standout Alex Caruso scored 32 points in 38 points – both career-highs in the NBA – in a 122-117 victory by the Los Angeles Lakers over the L.A. Clippers.
“I've been doing this in G League for the last year and a half and I've had my coaches down there just tell me to play confident, play the way I do,” Caruso said. “I'm finally just finding that groove and I'm confident and I'm comfortable. It's taken me three years to get to this point out of college.”
Caruso made a trio of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. Caruso scored late to give the Lakers a six-point lead.
The Clippers pulled within 118-115 on Danilo Gallinari's 3-pointer. But Caruso, making his second start of the season. banked in a layup with 24 seconds to delight the crowd. He had crashed the lane for a layup on the Lakers’ previous possession.
Caruso, who had 10 rebounds and five assists, was mobbed by his teammates after the game ended.
“We got the ball to AC,” Rajon Rondo said. “We got out of the way.”
Caruso helped the Lakers improve to 36-44, winning one more game than last season.
“The more time he plays, the more he shows what he can do, what he’s capable of doing,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said of Caruso. “The more he makes a case for himself he lets the whole NBA see what we’ve been seeing.
“The message all the time right now is we’re gonna find people that are competing.”
Caruso hit 10 of 19 field goals, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers. He was 7 of 7 at the foul line. Eight of his rebounds came on the defensive end. He had two steals, a block and only three turnovers.