It wasn’t always pretty, but the Los Angeles Lakers avoided a four-game losing streak with a win over the rebuilding Orlando Magic on Monday night.
While Dennis Schroder was the hero in the fourth quarter, Montrezl Harrell kept the team afloat as they struggled on both ends of the floor during the second and third quarters.
Until the final minutes, Harrell was the Lakers’ leading scorer. He finished with 18 points, five rebounds and three steals on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. As the team’s relatively consistent sixth man, he’s provided a spark for L.A. on numerous occasions this season and proves his value every time he does so.
Harrell felt that a particular and-one early in the fourth quarter helped shift the momentum to the Lakers’ side. “Honestly, I definitely think it did affect the team. … It brought a sense of energy that I felt we need at that point in time,” Harrell said. “As far as me, it’s nothing no different than I do in any game.
“I play with a lot of energy and a lot of passion because every day I get to wake up and put my shoes on to play the game of basketball and take care of my family and my loved ones. I’m going to play with the same energy and the same passion every game I’m out there. Just leave it all out on the floor like I said doing the little things and all the small things that show up to help our team to win really.”
Harrell said he wasn’t surprised that the Magic were able to come back after a rough first quarter given the type of competitors they have. “They fought. We knew this team was going to keep competing. They’re a scrappy team even though they’ve had a lot of trades and a lot of guys changing from their team, they’re still a fighting team and a team that will compete all the way to the end.”
The Lakers fell asleep on both ends of the court after taking a 28-16 lead at the end of the first, and it took until the fourth quarter for L.A. to put their foot down and end the game. However, Harrell can certainly be credited for keeping them alive during the rough patch.
Harrell says Lakers have great togetherness
Despite recent discussions about the Lakers needing to build their chemistry, Harrell already sees the team as having great togetherness. “All the team bonding that we do both on and off the court on planes and in the hotel. Different aspects like that.
“Just being around one another throughout the protocols…I think we’ve done a great job of doing team bonding in those instances of all the protocols that we have to abide by. I think that these guys are one of the best at building that togetherness as a group. Not only on the court but off the court as well.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!