The Los Angeles Lakers found themselves in a fight down the stretch against the Detroit Pistons in the last game of their six-game road trip. Anthony Davis and LeBron James led the way, of course, but with the Lakers up just two points and under 30 seconds remaining, it was Austin Reaves who came up with the huge bucket to ice the game.
Reaves only had nine points on the night, but his clutch 3 with 12.1 seconds remaining gave the Lakers a five-point lead and they ultimately won by seven. The victory pushed the Lakers’ record on the road trip to a very respectable 3-3 which was a goal many were unsure the team could reach.
The Lakers, of course, could have been above .500 on the trip but suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss in Philadelphia the previous game. Coming off that loss, and with it being the final game of the long road trip, Reaves was satisfied with the Lakers’ victory, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Yeah, for sure, I mean you always wanna win, but especially after a game like that. I think a six-game road trip, I think the last one, as were talking about before the game, is always the hardest so we had to stay locked in. So it was a good team win. I mean, looking here, our whole starting 5 was in the plus-category so that’s really good.”
The Lakers are definitely able to come back home with some momentum and in a good headspace and that was due in large part to Reaves’ clutch 3-pointer. LeBron drew Reaves’ defender when attacking the basket and immediately kicked it out to the corner where the second-year guard was ready to shoot. Reaves went on to explain how James’ decision-making has helped him in clutch situation:
“I don’t have to scream in my head or out loud or anything. I think Bron has been very criticized his whole career for making the right basketball play late in games instead of forcing a shot. So you know when you’re playing with him that he’s gonna make the right basketball play and that’s what you want your leader to do, one of your best players for you. You know when you’re on the court in that situation that it could come to you, you just gotta stay locked in and make a shot.”
Regardless of what anyone has ever said, James continues to make the right play in clutch situations and it worked perfectly as Reaves delivered and the Lakers were able to get that necessary victory. Reaves has become one of the most important pieces of the Lakers’ rotation and moments like this make him indispensable on this team.
Lakers’ LeBron James discusses his trust of Austin Reaves
Of course it makes it easier for James to make that play when he trusts the player he’s throwing the ball to and the Lakers star recently praised Reaves on his growth and made it clear that he trusts the young guard.
“His role continues to grow on this team,” LeBron said recently. “We trust him. He knows I trust him. And he goes on to play his game, and that’s a beautiful thing to see, especially for a young player to see his growth from one year to the next.”
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