The Los Angeles Lakers showed they can rely on one another during the altercation between Patrick Beverley and Deandre Ayton in the 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
As Austin Reaves attempts a layup late in the fourth quarter, he appeared to be inadvertently hit in the face by Suns star Devin Booker. But as Reaves fell to the ground, Deandre Ayton stood over him and stared him down, prompting Patrick Beverley to shove him in the back.
Beverley got ejected from the game and will likely face suspension for his conduct. But Russell Westbrook liked the 34-year-old forward’s reaction considering Ayton’s behavior, per Spectrum SportsNet:
“I mean, I love it, personally. Protecting and understanding that we have each other’s back is the most important thing when you’re part of a team.”
Lakers head coach Darvin Ham defended Beverley after the game, saying he wants his teammates to have each other’s back. Similarly, Anthony Davis thought the veteran guard “did what he should do,” calling Ayton’s provocation “disrespectful.”
Reaves himself said he appreciates Beverley for standing up to the Suns center, adding he would have done the same thing for him.
Meanwhile, Beverley said he will always protect his teammates. “Especially teammates that I go to war for every night,” he added.
“I kinda felt like the play kinda got out of control after the staredown at Austin Reaves by [Devin] Book[er], then another staredown by [DeAndre] Ayton and the refs didn’t really come in and kinda break it up, so you know I’m not going for that s***.
Thomas Bryant discusses his chemistry with Westbrook, dating back to playing for Wizards
Westbrook shares the locker room with more familiar faces than he did last season with Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant — former Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards teammates, respectively — joining the Lakers for 2022-23.
Westbrook and Bryant’s familiarity with each other’s game shows during games, helping the center to start the season on a high note after missing the first month with a thumb injury.
Bryant has said their chemistry has helped him both on and off the floor. “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely,” he says.
“The chemistry that we had there just for that short amount of time was really great and I tried to keep that chemistry throughout the summer time, when I was injured still tried to communicate with him and learn as much as I can from him.”
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!