After an extremely rough start to the season, things seem to be going well for the Los Angeles Lakers as of late. They made a ton of changes to the roster at this year’s trade deadline, and the new group they have put together is playing very well.
On Friday night, the Lakers took down the Toronto Raptors, riding the late-game momentum of a huge fourth-quarter run. D’Angelo Russell played super well in the final period, and after the game, Lakers guard Austin Reaves gave him his flowers.
“He’s a really good basketball player that plays the game the right way,” Reaves said of Russell via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “You don’t really see him too many times, in the midst of a game, making a wild play. He’s very under control, plays at his own pace, and like I said, he’s just super talented. The shots he was hitting in the fourth is ridiculous. You got only a handful of guys that take those shots in those situations. So, shout out to him. It’s good to have him back. We’re looking to keep it rolling.”
Russell led the way for the Lakers on Friday night. He finished the game with 28 points, five rebounds, and nine assists on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point line.
However, it was Russell’s fourth-quarter showing that was particularly impressive. In the final frame, Russell posted 16 points, one rebound, and two assists while shooting 5-of-5 from the floor and 4-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
Austin Reaves Shows Love to Anthony Davis
This isn’t the first time in recent days that Reaves has taken the time to praise one of his teammates. After the Lakers’ recent win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Reaves sounded off on Anthony Davis, who put up monster numbers in the victory.
“He was an animal again, on both sides of the floor,” Reaves said via Spectrum SportsNet. “You know, that’s what we need from him right now. Bron’s [LeBron James] out. D’Lo’s out. So, this is his team right now, and in the last five games or whatever, he’s done nothing but be spectacular, and that’s the Anthony Davis we know. We expect him to continue to do it.”
Anthony Davis Praises Jarred Vanderbilt
Meanwhile, Davis kept the compliment train going. After the Lakers’ win over the Grizzlies, he had some kind words for Vanderbilt, who has been playing amazing defense since joining the team at this year’s deadline.
“Communication. [We] haven’t had much practice time, but when you have constant communication between the group, [it] tends to work out,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “We’ve been playing extremely hard, but that kind of covers up for a lot of mistakes. So him [Vanderbilt] being a defensive guy, you know, myself, and then you add Dennis [Schroder], and AR [ Reaves], and all these other guys that might not seem like defensive guys, but when you got a group of defensive guys around you, it only sparks that. So, it’s been fun. It’s been fun holding teams below their average. And that’s what we thrive at our best – getting stops and running. So, we got to continue to do that.”