It's well documented that the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled without LeBron James and Rajan Rondo in the lineup. Since their absence, it's been up to Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram to step up their play and lead the Lakers. After a few losses in a row, head coach Luke Walton called out his two young players, saying they needed to be better. On Monday night, Ball and Ingram rose to the occasion, leading the charge in a 107-97 victory against the Dallas Mavericks.

According to ESPN, Ball and Ingram had a late-night phone call where the two talked about their coaches challenge. They came away from the talk inspired as Ball dropped 21 points and Ingram scored a season-high 29 points. 

"I just thought we had to step up," Ball said. "We got to be a lot better if we want to win games, and the performance we had yesterday wasn't going to get it done."

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Ingram spoke on how Walton's challenge is something he embraces as he knows he needs to work on becoming a better player.


"Me and Luke have numerous talks about numerous things. I think it's always motivational talks to see what I can do on the basketball floor. It's not just what he said to y'all, it's constant talk of how I can be better, how I can be more consistent. Whatever it is, I just try to take the challenge. Just try to be better."

The Lakers are sitting on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.