Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball may have had a terrible birthday. First, he and his fellow Lakers starters headed to the bench early versus the Toronto Raptors. Then, they lost a close one to the Raptors at home, 101-92.

In a report by ESPN, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton explained why he took out his starters in the defeat to the Toronto Raptors, even if they still had a chance to salvage the game. According to Walton, Lonzo Ball and company failed to do what they should have accomplished on the defensive end. For Walton, what his starting players showed on defense in the second half suggested that they were disinterested in finishing the game.

Hence he taught them a lesson through benching.

In 32 minutes of action, Lonzo Ball had a good outing for the Lakers. He registered five points (2-of-7 shooting), seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Once again, the 20-year-old did not have an offensive explosion, but overall he succeeded in doing his chores as the top point guard for the Lakers.

Second unit power

The Los Angeles Lakers' second unit emerged with Lonzo Ball and the starters providing a lackluster performance. Julius Randle led all scorers for the Lakers with 18 points. He also had five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Kyle Kuzma had a double-double as he recorded 15 points and 10 boards. Jordan Clarkson added 11.

The only player from the starting lineup that scored in double figures was the veteran Brook Lopez. Lopez had 13 points, which came with five rebounds, two assists, a steal, and three blocks.

Over .500

Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers have had a couple of opportunities to go over .500 this 2017-18 NBA season. Unfortunately, they are failing to capitalize on them.

Their losses to the New Orleans Pelicans (October 22) and the Toronto Raptors (October 27) have prevented them from going past the .500 mark. As of the moment, Ball and the Lakers hold a 2-3 record for the 10th spot in the Western Conference. The Pelicans, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Denver Nuggets, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are at 2-3 as well.

Salt Lake City trip

Up next on the schedule of Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers is a stop at Salt Lake City. The Lakers are leaving home for one game to visit Rudy Gobert and the new-look Utah Jazz at the Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 28. The Jazz are aiming to return on the winning track after suffering back-to-back losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns.