Lakers News: Austin Reaves Believes Arena Was Loudest It Has Been In Play-In Tournament Win Over Timberwolves
Austin Reaves, Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Second-year guard Austin Reaves has become one of the most vital pieces of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rotation this season. The Lakers rely on Reaves as a scorer, playmaker and defender and even though he didn’t have his best game in the Lakers’ Play-In Tournament victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, he still found himself on the court at crucial moments of the game.

It was Reaves’ first taste of playoff basketball and the crowd inside Arena made sure the atmosphere was different than any regular season game Reaves has experienced. “It was great. They always show up and make noise but tonight was extra special,” Reaves said after the game. “It’s probably the loudest I’ve seen it since I’ve been here and rightfully so for a big game, a must-win game.”

It was definitely a must-win game and it felt like the nerves got the better of both teams as the Lakers and Timberwolves had some extremely sloppy plays and stretches late. But all that matters is the win in the end.

“Obviously there were some mistakes,” Reaves added. “My turnover at the end of regulation, I think Bron had one close to the end of overtime… But hey, I guess it’s playoff basketball. You take every win you can get.”

There are no style points in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter how you get the win as long as it happens and the Lakers did that on Tuesday. They battled back from 15 points down in the second half and Reaves pointed to the team’s defense down the stretch as making the biggest difference.

“Obviously we didn’t have our best stuff tonight,” Reaves noted. “They come out from the jump and played well. But I think when I was on the radio outside they said that they didn’t have a bucket until Conley’s free throws for like the last six minutes so that’s big right there. That’s how you win games like that.”

Defense is what the Lakers hang their hats on and it is what allowed them to take over late, which says a lot about the makeup of the team. The Lakers always feel like they’re in the game regardless of the score and that mindset pushes them through the toughest times.

“Yeah, with the talent that we have, you have LeBron, AD and DLo, you’re never really out of a game reqardless of if it’s 20, 15, whatever,” Reaves said. “Like you said, chip away and really just lock in on the defensive end. I think offensively we scored really well, so you just lock in and chip away. You’re never out of the game, so that was really the mindset that we have every game.”

If the Lakers plan on making any kind of run in the playoffs they will need to keep that mindset and defensive intensity moving forward.

Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks wanted to play Lakers in the first round

The Lakers are now set to take on the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs and it is a matchup Grizzlies’ wing Dillon Brooks is happy to see.

Brooks spoke in a recent interview about wanting to matchup with LeBron James and the Lakers, noting the legacy LeBron has and believes the Lakers will be a good test for Memphis.

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