The Los Angeles Lakers are playing some solid basketball right now. They need to be on their A-game if they want to make the playoffs, especially considering how poorly they played at the start of the year. Luckily for them, some great trade deadline moves have them in a good spot.
On Wednesday night, they took care of business against the Phoenix Suns – a conference rival. Austin Reaves played very well as a member of the starting lineup, and after the game, D’Angelo Russell made a wild comparison to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
“It’s huge,” Russell said of the Lakers crowd’s impact via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “Like I said, I’ve been here in the past [and] I remember that. Kobe and guys like that controlling that environment from just dominating the game. And the fans can’t wait to cheer for it. So, even if it’s Austin Reaves, I guess they love Austin. So, whenever we can get him going, it helps our team. So, I know it. I think a lot of guys know it. Whenever we can return a favor like that, I think it’s good for both sides.”
Obviously, comparing anybody to Bryant in any capacity is a huge compliment, but when it comes to Lakers Nation, Reaves might be the most popular player at the moment.
He played very well against the Suns. Reaves finished the game with 25 points, four rebounds, and 11 assists on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 1-of-1 shooting from behind the three-point line. The Lakers guard also shot 12-of-13 from the free-throw line.
As for Russell, he also put up some good stats. He ended the night with 28 points, one rebound, and six assists on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor and 6-of-6 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Austin Reaves Speaks About Starter Role
“He pulled me aside yesterday after practice and told me that I would be starting,” Reaves said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “But for me, it’s truly the same mindset going into every game, and it’s win. At all costs, win. And that’s all that really matters. So, there’s not much different starting [or] not starting. For me, it’s really just go out and play basketball the way that I always have and the way that I love.”
Anthony Davis Shows Love to Jarred Vanderbilt
“Defensively, I think we were really good,” Davis said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “We had some slip-ups, but for the most part, I think we did a good job defensively. Vando [Vanderbilt] did a good job on Book. Just making it tough for him. He made some tough shots. Austin was on him. Dennis[was, too]. Just making it tough on him all night. Nothing really easy. Rebound the basketball, and just playing free. Having fun. So, a lot of guys played well [and] stepped up. It’s a big win for us for sure.”