During Friday night’s 122-121 thrilling win against the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder helped seal the victory after stealing the ball from Desmond Bane and finishing a three-point play in transition.
The 29-year-old had an all-around effort in the Lakers’ nail-biting victory, scoring 19 points with eight rebounds and eight assists. The motor and tenacity Schroder has been playing with is a reason why L.A has found some success with Anthony Davis still working to return to the court.
During his amazing performance, Schroder was playing for something more on Friday. Schroder, who has made his love for Soccer known, took to Instagram to dedicate the Lakers victory to Major League Soccer defender for Charlotte FC Anton Walkes, who passed away on Thursday at 25 years old:
Schroder also wore shoes with ‘RIP Anton W.’ written on the right side, making his performance much more meaningful than any regular season game. The tribute the 6-foot-3-inch guard gave to Walkes was an example of the grief the professional sports world is feeling after losing someone at a young age.
Walkes, who died at the hospital following injuries from a boating accident, had been a supporter of Schroder since the combo guard’s playing days for the Atlanta Hawks. As the season progresses for Schroder, honoring and making his friend proud will be motivation for him to keep playing at a high level.
Westbrook asked to guard Morant in final possession of win
The setting was Crypto.Com Arena and the matchup featured multiple NBA All-Stars on the floor with the game having the Lakers and Grizzlies faithful at the edge of their seats. This was a game where the stars on both had to shine when it mattered most, and Russell Westbrook did just that.
Westbrook led the team to a upset victory against the Grizzlies, scoring a season-high 29 points with five rebounds and six assists. However, it wasn’t just Westbrook’s offense that helped L.A win the game, but it was the two-time NBA scoring champion’s defense that sealed the deal.
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham credited Westbrook for his ‘assertiveness in asking during the team huddle to guard Ja Morant during the final possession of the game. Having been criticized for his perimeter defense all season, Westbrook silenced the critics in a game that provided the Lakers needed momentum.
If the Lakers can continue to receive superstar type of outings from Westbrook on a consistent basis, the sky is the limit for what the purple and gold can look like when the team is fully healthy with Davis back in the starting lineup.
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!