The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a crucial playoff push. They struggled mightily at the beginning of the season, but after a crazy trade deadline saw them completely reshape their roster, they are now looking to make the postseason.
However, in a tightly-contested Western Conference, they don’t thave much room for error. So, after a two-game losing streak, they bounced back in a big way on Sunday night. They took down the Orlando Magic, and Austin Reaves was at the forefront of their offensive attack. After the game, D’Angelo Russell had high praise for Reaves.
“Well, well, well-deserved,” Russell said of Reaves via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “More than capable, honestly. Just not being surprised. He’s capable. He gets to that free-throw line. Dominates the game from a lot of different levels. So, kudos.”
When asked again about Reaves’ showing, Russell had nothing left to say, so he kept his message simple.
“Huge,” Russell said. “I mean, what more do you want me to say? Dude’s a killer.”
Reaves led the Lakers in points against Orlando, scoring a career-high 36. In addition, he posted six rebounds and six assists while shooting 9-of-14 from the field and 1-of-4 from behind the three-point line. He also lived at the free-throw line, shooting 16-of-18 from the stripe.
As for Russell, he played fairly well, but he deferred to the hot hand in Reaves most of the night. Russell ended the game with 18 points, one rebound, and six assists on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor and 4-of-8 shooting from distance.
Darvin Ham Shows Love to Austin Reaves
In addition, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also had some kind words for Reaves after LA’s win over the Magic.
“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 Shows Love to Lakers Fans
Meanwhile, the man of the hour also had something to say after the game. Lakers fans were chanting ‘MVP’ at Reaves all night long, pouring in love for the second-year guard.
When asked about the chants after the game, Reaves returned the favor, shouting out Lakers Nation for their continued support and calling the moment “special.”
“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.”