With the Los Angeles Lakers looking to reinforce their backline and boost their rebounding, head coach Frank Vogel turned back to the two-big lineup that started the season. DeAndre Jordan didn’t see the court in three of the last five games, but was ready when his name was called for the Lakers’ trip to Detroit to face the Pistons.
Jordan responded with a solid outing of six points and nine rebounds as the Lakers defeated the Pistons 121-116 to snap their three-game losing streak. But of course, the biggest talking point coming out of the game was the third-quarter altercation between LeBron James and Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart.
Jordan was on the court during the skirmish and discussed his role in the altercation.
“First of all, we don’t promote fighting or any of that. However, at the end of the day, we’re going to have our teammate’s back,” Jordan said after the victory. “We’re going to protect each other out there, but to answer your question, I just try to make sure nothing escalated more than it already did and just tried to make sure nothing else happened and protect my teammates and I feel like that’s all of our jobs because it can happen to any player in these types of situations. Just tried to get up in there and make sure nothing else happened. That’s all.”
At the time of the altercation that saw both James and Stewart ejected, the Lakers looked to be on their way to their fourth straight loss. They trailed by 12 points at that time and by 15 going into the fourth quarter and Jordan believes that incident is what gave the Lakers the spark they needed to come back.
“I think it was that situation. The altercation. But it could’ve been two things,” Jordan added. “It could’ve made us unravel or it could’ve brought us together and I think we did just that. It brought us together. We were down, we could’ve easily folded. But we didn’t. We continued to fight. We knew obviously with LeBron [James] out, we all had to step it up even more. Obviously, he was amazing on both sides of the basketball. Russ was amazing. Melo came in and gave us great minutes on both sides of the ball. And Rondo came in and gave us some great minutes, too. Shoutout Dwight [Howard]. Two threes tonight.
“We came together. Moments like this and situations like that definitely turn seasons around, it could turn the road trip around and we want to build game by game. That situation just gave us an extra spark we needed.”
The Lakers are definitely in need of something to help turn things around as this season has not gone to plan so far. Perhaps this is what the team was looking for and now they will look to build on that comeback victory.
Jordan believes Lakers feel urgency on road trip
After two rough losses to start the road trip there was definitely some angst and concern for the Lakers and Jordan admits that there is definitely a sense of urgency amongst this team right now on the road.
“Yeah, I do. We were in it in Milwaukee. We had a tough game there. In Boston, we were up big early. They came out in the second half and made shots, got stops. But tonight we knew this team was going to be tough, physical. Jerami Grant is obviously a great player for these guys. Another challenge for AD, which he took on tonight. We just didn’t want to lose this game tonight… Some wins are ugly wins, but we’ll take all the wins we get.”
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