The Los Angeles Lakers snapped a two-game losing streak on March 19, as they overcame the Orlando Magic 111-105, courtesy of a 35-point night from Austin Reaves.
Shortly after the Lakers game concluded, LeBron James, who is currently out of the rotation with an injury, took to Twitter to send a message to Austin Reaves, crediting his toughness.
“AR YOU A BAD MUTHA…SHUT YO MOUTH!!! You toooooo TOUGH!!,” James Tweeted.
Reaves has been impressive for the Lakers this season, providing them with a reliable presence off the bench, yet against the Magic, he found a new gear, finishing the game with 35 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists while getting to the free-throw line 18 times, converting 16 of his attempts at the charity stripe.
Despite their win, the Lakers remain 10th in the Western Conference, tied for 9th and 11th with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz, respectively. As such, the Lakers will need to maintain their current performance level if they wish to make it into the play-in tournament and have a shot at making the postseason.
Austin Reaves Shouts Out Lakers Fans After Win
Reaves has become somewhat of a fan favorite since joining the Lakers last season, primarily due to his all-action displays and a clear commitment to the purple and gold jersey he proudly wears.
When speaking to the media following his career-scoring night, Reaves took a moment to shout out Lakers fans and reaffirm his commitment to helping the team win wherever he’s on the floor.
“Yeah, it’s special,” Reaves said. “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.”
Darvin Ham Prasies Austin Reaves Performance
During his own post-game press conference, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham spoke glowingly of Reave’s performance, crediting his aggressiveness on offense and the impact he made throughout the game.
“I thought it was him being his normal self,” Ham said. “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.”
The Lakers will now turn their attention toward their upcoming game against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, March 22, meaning they will have a two-day rest before facing off against Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and co. in what is quickly shaping up to be a must-win game.