Andre Drummond cleared the air after he appeared to taunt Brooklyn Nets veteran LaMarcus Aldridge during the Los Angeles Lakers 126-101 win on Saturday.
Drummond backed down Aldridge and got the bucket and a foul in the third quarter, turning around and calling him “too small” before heading to the line. The Lakers injured bench mob — which included LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma — got up to celebrate the bully ball move from Drummond.
Drummond cleared the air after the game, saying the celebration was not a shot at Aldridge, who is listed as an inch taller than Drummond.
“It was a good basket,” Drummond said, per ESPN. “That’s my signature that I do when I score on people and get an and-1, so nothing toward LaMarcus intentionally. It’s just what I do. No matter who is out there, it’s happening.”
Andre Drummond: Guys in This Locker Room Are Tough
Drummond gave the shorthanded Lakers lots to celebrate about. He scored a team-high 20 points and snatched 11 rebounds to record his second consecutive double-double in purple and gold. Even Aldridge gave Drummond credit for the big game.
“[Drummond] was great tonight, but that’s on me,” Aldridge said. “I’ve guarded him and played versus him all these years. Just got to be better. Like I said, came out way too passive. Couldn’t get my motor going, but that’s on me.”
Drummond is finding his footing with the Lakers after joining the defending champions from the buyout market last month. But he’s proving to be a very solid option for LA at the center position and a different kind of presence than Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol.
“I learned a lot from today’s game: that we have a lot of guys in this locker room that are very tough,” Drummond told reporters after the game. “Despite who is on the other side of the court, they’re going to come out and play. No matter how many minutes guys play, they’re going to play to the best of their ability. And we have fun doing it. We had a lot of fun tonight playing and getting this win.”
Ben McLemore Gets Hot in Lakers Win
With a bevy of players out, the Lakers relied on their new addition to provide a spark. Drummond and Ben McLemore provided that. While Drummond did his damage in the paint, McLemore did it from beyond the arc, scoring 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point land.
“I told them all I needed was one to go in and obviously, you saw the results,” McLemore told reporters. “Once I see one go in, it’s a wrap from there. And then I start making a few more and then I start rolling. It’s doesn’t take much for me to get hot, especially when I see one go in that was sweet.”
The Lakers are hoping to get a bit healthier as they continue their East Coast swing against the New York Knicks on Monday. They’ll wrap up the road trip on Tuesday against Charlotte before returning to Staples Center on April 15.