Andre Drummond chalked up his first win since joining the Los Angeles Lakers, playing a key role in the 126-101 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday evening.
The 27-year-old center had a prolific night, scoring 20 points and adding 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes on the floor. Despite the numerous injuries troubling the Lakers, they outrebounded Brooklyn 47-42 — and 12-9 in offensive boards — in big part thanks to Drummond’s dominance in the paint.
The blowout victory over one of the main rivals to the title also convinced the big man he had joined a team that doesn’t shy away from a fight. “I learned a lot from today’s game that we’ve got a lot of guys in this locker room that are very tough,” Drummond said.
“Despite who is on the other side of the court, they’re going to come and play. No matter how many minutes guys play, they’re going to play to the best of their ability. And we had fun doing it. We had a lot of fun tonight playing and getting this win.”
Drummond has already beaten the Nets three times this season, twice while still with the Cleveland Cavaliers, owning a perfect 3-0 record when facing the Eastern Conference powerhouse. But the center said he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to prepare for the clash. “For me, just playing my game,” Drummond said.
“Paying attention to the scouting report, seeing who’s guarding me and where I need to be on the floor to be most effective. Today was just being the enforcer on both ends of the court.”
Drummond also didn’t want to tip Brooklyn to face the Lakers again in the NBA Finals. “We just focus on what we can take care of right now,” Drummond said. “The playoffs are a long way away.
“We have a lot of games in between to get to the Finals, so we need to take care of what we need to take care of. If it’s them that we see in the Finals or whoever it may be, we’ll play to the best of our ability and come out with wins.”
Drummond worked out privately before joining Lakers
Drummond has already made an impact despite joining the Lakers less than two weeks ago — and after a month-and-a-half-long layoff, no less. After Cleveland acquired Jarrett Allen from the Nets, the 27-year-old fell out of the rotation after the two sides decided to part ways.
But the center reportedly wanted to make each day count and worked out privately to remain in shape ahead of the next chapter of his career.
Drummond also said he was ready to make the necessary sacrifices to accomplish the ultimate goal this season: the championship.
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