Friday night’s contest between the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers was a roller coaster with all sorts of twists and turns before the latter ultimately came out on top in overtime.
It looked like the 76ers would win the game in regulation as they led by 16 with just over three minutes to play and then by nine with just 28 seconds left. Philadelphia could not hold onto the ball late though, allowing a comeback opportunity for the Lakers.
Austin Reaves, who had one of his best games of the season with 25 points off the bench, was instrumental in the Lakers’ late comeback. He hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit from six to three with just a few seconds remaining. After a Lakers steal, Darvin Ham once again drew up a play for Reaves which resulted in him being fouled behind the 3-point line.
Reaves made the first two free throws, bringing the Lakers within one before missing the final one. That ended up being the desirable outcome though as the Lakers got another steal and then Anthony Davis was fouled on a layup attempt.
If Davis made both then the Lakers would have taken the lead with just a few seconds though. Similar to Reaves though, he could not make the last one, so the game went to overtime. L.A. then simply ran out of gas in the extra period, resulting in the 133-122 loss in what was a thriller from start to finish.
After the game, Reaves was disappointed in himself for missing that final free throw and even added that his own mom will be frustrated about it, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I never want to miss a free throw. It was the third free throw that I missed. I made the first and second. I don’t know anybody that will make two and then miss one. You always got to make that one, especially under those circumstances. But we had an opportunity right after that, AD went to the line and made the first and missed the second. I think everybody on the team and our coaching staff, if we could script it and have that opportunity with being down I think it was 13 with like 1:52 left, you would throw both of us at the line again in a heartbeat. But it sucks to miss, I’m sure my mom will be frustrated at me for missing a free throw.”
Reaves also went on to discuss what went wrong for the Lakers in the overtime period:
“We won the tip and then we had a really good play call right out of the gate and got a really good look, what we wanted, and unfortunately Bron’s layup literally was 9/10 of the way in and it bobbled out somehow. At the time it was frustrating but you don’t really think about it that much. Russ came down and had a good look, elbow jumper, basically same thing. And then after that I felt like it was just a little deflating just not seeing those two go in with the looks that we got. And then I believe they got a bucket on their first possession. We put them to the free throw line, I fouled on an offensive rebound crash and they went up seven real quick. Then after that, we were just kind of scrambling.”
Considering the Lakers got another chance and wound up tying it, there’s no reason for Reaves to beat himself up over missing that final free throw. The Lakers wouldn’t have even been in the game if it were not for Reaves’ stellar play down the stretch anyway, shooting 4-for-6 from deep overall.
Although the Lakers came up short, their late comeback attempt is hopefully something they can build on moving forward. They will close out their road trip on Sunday against the Detroit Pistons.
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!