His best moment of the season doubled as a turning point for the Los Angeles Lakers, as his victory against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day was followed by LeBron James and Rajon Rondo lost for a prolonged time.
Rondo underwent surgery to repair a ligament in a sprained right ring finger, and missed 14 games while recovering. His absence overlapped with that of James, who needed five weeks to recover from a groin injury.
James' ledger read 17 games lost before his return, although after playing 40 minutes in an overtime victory against the Clippers, he was prevented on Saturday night due to pain. The Lakers continued to defend themselves from a deficit, only to waste their own advantage in a 115-101 loss to the Warriors.
However, the game quickly became a back story, as reports surfaced of several veterans involved in a confrontation with head coach Luke Walton. Michael Beasley, JaVale McGee and Lance Stephenson were mentioned as agitated with game time and rotations.
Stephenson apparently learned that his name was included, and refuted that he is a little unhappy with a publication of Instagram's story.
From Lance … pic.twitter.com/fAMcySnbzg
– Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) February 3, 2019
Stephenson had 10 points, six rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes. While he has fallen off the rotation for brief stints this season, Stephenson has played at least 16 minutes in seven straight games.
His role has changed throughout the season, with Stephenson helping to execute the offense while Lonzo Ball and Rondo were injured, and in other cases he has been asked to provide a punch.
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