Austin Reaves Credits Lakers For Being Locked In To Get Off To Hot Start Against Grizzlies In Game 3
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If there were any questions about who was going to come out on top in Game 3, the Los Angeles Lakers ended all of that talk form the moment the ball was tossed in the air. The Lakers dominated the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter, holding them to just nine points and owning a 26-point lead after the first.

The Lakers would cruise from that point on, and despite the best efforts of Ja Morant, were never really challenged in a 10-point win to take a 2-1 series lead. The performance and pure domination from the start was truly impressive and Austin Reaves saw it coming just from how locked in and intense the Lakers were at the morning shootaround.

“A great start. Exactly the start that we wanted,” Reaves said after the Game 3 win. “Holding any NBA team to nine points in the first quarter is really impressive. Is that a record? It’s gotta be I would think so. But we were locked in from this morning at walkthrough and you could just tell the intensity. And we got to maintain that for the rest of however many games we got.”

The Lakers have had moments throughout the season where they’ve shown just how good they can be. But as Reaves noted, the key now is maintaining that level of intensity throughout the playoffs. Playing at this level consistently has been the issue and the Lakers can’t afford to let up even a little bit.

What certainly helped the Lakers keep up that level of focus was a raucous home crowd. It was the first full home playoff crowd for the Lakers in a decade and Reaves and the Lakers felt that energy.

“This is the first full-capacity playoff game since, what 2013?” Reaves added. “They were great and like I said earlier, the intensity started in here, but when you get out there and you feel the energy, and things going the way we want them to go, with our crowd it was beautiful.”

The Lakers crowd has an unwarranted reputation for not being the loudest, showing up late and leaving early, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially for those big contests, the Lakers crowd is one of the most locked in and intense in the entire league and that was on full display Saturday night.

LeBron James calls Lakers crowd ‘amazing’ and glad they could match that energy

The energy inside Arena for Game 3 was unlike anything else as the fans were hungry for some playoff basketball. It was apparent to anyone in the building and that includes Lakers star LeBron James himself.

“It was amazing. It was amazing,” James said. “You can tell they’ve been looking forward to this and we have as well and the energy they gave us we just try to reciprocate that by playing the game at a high level and get a win for ’em and we was able to do that for our home fans tonight.”

Now LeBron and the Lakers will look for a repeat performance in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.

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