In the Chicago Bulls’ 121-110 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the latter got some retribution.
“[Austin Reaves] always got my back,” Lakers star LeBron James said via NBA Interviews on YouTube on March 29. “Always.
Reaves took an opportunity to serve up a little payback for James in the form of a “too little” gesture to Beverley after tallying two of his 19 points to go with his five assists, two rebounds, and one steal.
Beverley had done the same gesture to James during the Bulls’ 124-96 win in Los Angeles on March 26.
In the end, it was little more than competitors competing. Beverley began the season as a member of the Lakers before, according to him, requesting a trade. He was sent to the Orlando Magic for big man Mo Bamba – who missed this contest – only to get waived and find his way to his hometown team.
But there is still a lot of respect on both sides.
“It wasn’t something I thought about doing all game,” Reaves said via Dan Woike of the L.A. Times. “But I felt like [it was the] right time, right situation…Me and Pat got a good relationship. It’s just me competing.”
For his part, Beverley had a feeling the Lakers had not forgotten his ribbing their leader – who finished this game with 25 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
“I was waiting,” Beverley said in a video shared by Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on Twitter. “I knew it was going to come out sometime tonight. Waiting on it. Glad it was him that did it though.”
Again, this was nothing but competitors competing.
“He played the right way,” Beverley said. He’s been playing that way all season. Let’s the game come to him, good and crafty – clever in pick-and-roll. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Beverley went scoreless going 0-for-5 from the floor after scoring double-digit points for just the third time as a Bull in the first meeting with L.A. He had two rebounds, one assist, one block, and one steal finishing as a game-low minus-32 on the night.
The Bulls are now 10-7 since the All-Star break.
Bulls’ Newfound Resolve Being Tested
With this loss, the Bulls have dropped back-to-back games for the first time since losing a pair of games to the Phoenix Suns and Indiana Pacers on March 3 and March 5, respectively. It’s just the second time they have done it since the All-Star break.
Head coach Billy Donovan has noted a newfound level of resolve in this team.
“The thing where I think we’ve gotten better and I’m hoping it can continue, we had not at all ever responded to teams making a run,” Donovan said, per Mayberry. “And even though we came out in that third quarter and got up and kind of got back, there were runs back in fourth. … Those were games earlier in the year where we could just not stop the avalanche. And I’m seeing better fight-back, which to me is what we’ve got to build on.”
They’ve proven capable of overcoming adversity in-game, even after failing to do so in the last two games. Now they must prove they can overcome the negative momentum of a losing streak.
Fortunately for them, they remain in firm control of the 10-seed.
Anthony Davis Got Some ‘Get Back’ vs Bulls
“Yea he got Bron so he got him back for Bron,” Davis said of the interaction between his teammate and his fellow Chicago native via NBA Interviews’ channel. “But it’s all love though.”
Davis initially took issue with Beverley saying he wanted to ruin the Lakers’ playoff pursuit to which the former dared him to “come try it” only to find himself in foul trouble when they first played on March 26 and finishing with just 15 points, nine boards, and five assists.
He vowed to get some “get back” after the game.
The big man finished this one with a game-high 38 points adding 10 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals.