As the calendar has flipped to a new month in November, the Los Angeles Lakers have seemed to find their way with back-to-back victories.
On Wednesday night, the Lakers came out on top against the New Orleans Pelicans after a riveting closing sequence by Matt Ryan to send it into overtime before L.A capitalized from there.
The Lakers had the momentum for the first three quarters. But after L.A built its largest team lead to 16 points, the Pelicans stormed back on a 14-0 scoring run.
When Austin Reaves was asked during his postgame interview about losing the 16-point lead, he cited that the Lakers need to be better in lead sustainability and how the basketball Gods were in favor of the Purple and Gold on this night.
“Yeah, I mean, we gotta be better when we have a lead like that and just sustained it and win by that much, so we don’t have to,” Reaves said. “I think my mom texted me and said she almost had a heart attack during that game. So yeah, we got to be better there. But they gave us two free throws. Basketball Gods work in weird ways.”
The defining moment of the game was the last-second 3-pointer from Ryan to send the game into overtime. Reaves described the sequence with nothing but joy and happiness for Ryan’s sharpshooting ability that he provides for the Lakers.
“It’s awesome. Happy for him. I think I’ve told him a ‘good shot’ probably 15 times already. So we’re super happy for him. That’s what he does, though. He’s an elite shooter. That’s why he’s here.”
To make the play happen, Reaves heaved it to a wide-open Ryan during the after timeout play. The pass was not an easy one for Reaves as he heaved it across the court over multiple players. He explained his thought process to make a pass like that.
“Don’t turn it over,” he said. “Everybody gonna hate me if I turn it over. Honestly, I was looking for [Troy] Brown first, then AD or Bron. I think it might have been Pat. And then in the last option was that, and of course, it was the one that was open and I had to throw it.”
As the Lakers continue to find their rhythm after a 5-game losing streak, x-factors like Reaves and Ryan can take off the pressure of the duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis to put some points on the board from the perimeter.
Reaves had Mavericks game flashbacks during Pelicans victory
The Lakers have had their fair share of late-game thrillers over the past two seasons. With the buzzer-beating 3-pointer made by Ryan against the Pelicans on Wednesday, the Lakers faithful may have experienced Deja Vu from a game last season.
Last December, Reaves hit a game-winning 3-pointer against the Dallas Mavericks on their home floor. During his postgame interview, Reaves was asked if he had gotten any flashbacks from his heroic performance.
“Yeah, for sure. As soon as he hit it, I kinda was kind of where my mind went. I was very happy over there. You know, kind of celebrating by myself, but you know, it’s just the energy. Like I said, we needed to be better and sustained the 16-point lead, which we will be, but this just shows that we can, you know, make things happen in tough games. It’ll carry us a long way, and we’ll be prepared if this happens again.”
While the Lakers never want to find themselves in positions to need someone to win the game for them at the end, they can be assured in knowing that they have shooters like Reaves and Ryan to get the job done when their number is called.
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