Lakers News: Austin Reaves Praises D’Angelo Russell For Bounce Back Game 4 Against Nuggets
Austin Reaves, D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into Game 4 of their first-round playoff series with the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers had their backs against the wall as they faced elimination for the first time in this postseason. Although it has felt inevitable that the Lakers will eventually fall to the Nuggets in this series, they were able to get a win on Saturday night at Crypto.com Arena to stay alive.

One of the biggest disappointments in Game 3 was D’Angelo Russell’s performance, as he failed to score a single point and seemed to revert back to his form from Game 1. Fortunately for Los Angeles, Russell didn’t disappoint on Saturday night, scoring 21 points and going 4-for-8 from beyond the arc.

After the Lakers were able to get their first win of the series, guard Austin Reaves spoke to the media and talked about Russell’s bounce-back performance.

“Yeah, he was amazing,” Reaves said. “Shot the ball well from 3, he was 4-for-8. He had one of his signature runs where he gets two to three quick buckets that feel like 12-0 runs itself. Just the style of basketball he plays, we need him to be at his highest level for us to be successful. Tonight that’s what he did. You tip your hat off to a guy like that. The world is killing him after Game 3 for the performance that he has. It probably is easier than a lot ya’ll think to just go fold and let that distract you. But he didn’t. You got to tip your hat to a guy like that. It just shows how much we need him.”

Although he didn’t shoot as well as Russell from deep, going 1-for-6, Reaves still chipped in with 21 points while also dishing out six assists. Four Lakers scored in double figures in Game 4, with Anthony Davis (25) and LeBron James (30) also putting in the work offensively to keep this team’s hopes of advancing alive.

Reaves also talked about how much better the team plays when Russell makes his shots and has it going on the offensive end of the floor.

“Yeah, anytime any of the guys on our team are playing well and making shots, everybody is extremely happy for them,” Reaves said. “You feed off that. Energy is real and when you got that positive, good energy and things are going your way, it seems like things continue to fall your direction. So definitely, seeing him be himself and making shots just encourages everybody else to do the same and stick to who you are.”

With one win in the books, the Lakers will try to put together three more to move on to the second round to face the winner of the first-round matchup between the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves. Los Angeles will need Russell to keep it going in Game 5 to keep the pressure on and give this team a chance to pull off the upset on the road.

Austin Reaves is ‘ready for the challenge’ of overcoming 3-0 deficit

The Lakers will try to pull off the seemingly impossible against the defending champion, and Austin Reaves is more than ready for the challenge to make history against arguably the best team in the NBA.

After winning Game 4, the Lakers have to return to Denver for Game 5 in hopes of staying alive in this postseason.

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