Lakers News: Austin Reaves Says Celtics Loss Still Hurts Days Later
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was a rollercoaster of a week for the Los Angeles Lakers as they desperately try to stay afloat in the Western Conference standings. L.A. went 2-2 from Dec. 9-16, but it could have easily been 4-0 if not for blown late leads.

The Lakers made furious comebacks against both the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers and built leads in both games. However, they were unable to hold firm on those leads and wound up conceding in overtime after running out of steam.

The Celtics loss in particular affected Austin Reaves. The Lakers trailed by as many as 20, then led by as many as 13, but ultimately couldn’t contain the Celtics in a four-point overtime loss. The Celtics loss hurt Reaves bad enough to where he simply couldn’t enjoy the team’s big win over the Denver Nuggets just a few days later.

“No, that one hurt me. That one hurt me,” Reaves lamented. “I had people calling me after that game and I was just like ‘I don’t want to talk.’ I don’t know what it was about that game specifically, but I wasn’t, we as a team, but I was not very happy about that one.”

That loss was particularly difficult for Lakers fans too, as losing in that fashion to all-time rivals is not an easy pill to swallow. However, a loss to the Nuggets would have exacerbated that wound, and it looked to be trending in that direction when Anthony Davis went down with a foot injury.

Reaves commended the Lakers for stepping up in his absence, although he — like everyone else — hopes Davis isn’t out for too long. “People just have to step up. You’re never gonna replace an AD, arguably the best player in the league this year. He’s an all-time great talent, so you’re never gonna replace him with one player.

“You got to have multiple guys like TB step up, Max, I know Wenyen is coming back soon just to fill that role. But hopefully we don’t miss AD for long, it’s AD.”

As the Lakers look at their post-Nuggets 12-16 record, they have to be kicking themselves over losses like the Celtics and 76ers. Their outlook could be completely different if they were .500 or better, something that was well within reach.

LeBron James discusses importance of Nuggets win

It would have been easy for the Lakers to fold after losing Davis for the entirety of the second half against the Nuggets. However, they used a complete team effort to rally past Denver and win in convincing fashion.

After the game, James discussed the importance of being able to win that game without Davis, and how several players were able to step up.

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