The Los Angeles Lakers need to be at the top of their game as they attempt to make a push for the playoffs. They went on a two-game slide, losing to the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks, but they got back on track on Sunday night.
Despite most of the roster struggling with their shot, the Lakers were able to pick up a win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. The big reason behind the win was Austin Reaves, as he had a monster night. He played so well that the crowd was chanting ‘MVP’ when he was at the free-throw line.
After the game, Reaves sent a message to Lakers fans everywhere, reciprocating the love that they showed him during the game.
“Yeah, it’s special,” Reaves said of the love Lakers fans showed him via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “I play the game with the type of mindset to go leave it on the court every night. For them to appreciate what I do that much means a lot to me. So, shout out to Lakers Nation. It’s all love.”
As noted, no one else on the Lakers could really get anything going. Anthony Davis had a below-average offensive night, and while D’Angelo Russell was efficient, he only poured in 18 points.
Reaves made up for that in the scoring column, though, as he dropped a career-high 36 points. In addition, he added six rebounds and six assists to his totals, shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 1-of-4 from distance. The Lakers guard also lived a the free-throw line, shooting 16-of-18 from the stripe on the night.
Darvin Ham Shows Love to Austin Reaves
The Lakers needed Reaves’ dominant performance to help them get back in the win column. After the game, head coach Darvin Ham had some high praise for the Lakers fan-favorite.
“I thought it was him being his normal self,” Ham said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “What he’s been all year. Coming up in clutch moments for us. Trying to make plays downhill. Putting the defense in uncomfortable positions with his ability to attack the paint and draw fouls. So, he was great. He ended up with 36 [and] we needed all of them tonight. His aggressiveness reflects in his free-throw attempts. But that’s been Austin all year. He’s a hell of a player. Happy he’s on our team, and we damn sure needed him tonight.”
Austin Reaves Gives Reality Check
Prior to their win over Orlando, the Lakers lost to the Mavericks in heartbreaking fashion, as Maxi Kleber nailed a game-winning three as time expired. After that game, Reaves delivered a reality check on the team’s mood, noting that all they could do was look ahead to the next one.
“I thought the mood was exactly what it should have been,” Reaves said of the Lakers locker room via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “[We have to] go in tomorrow, watch a lot of film, and learn from our mistakes. I think we’ve bounced back pretty good with this group after losses. I don’t know if we’ve had back-to-back losses until now. But we got to figure out how we move on and play the next game.”