The Los Angeles Lakers picked up a huge win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday thanks in large part to a dominant performance by Anthony Davis with backup guard Austin Reaves receiving a lot of praise as well. But the unsung hero of the game may have been Troy Brown Jr.
It was Brown who played a game-high 41 minutes on the night, spending most of it chasing around the Warriors’ backcourt tandem of Klay Thompson and the returning Stephen Curry. But the Lakers’ wing was up to the task all game long and didn’t even realize how many minutes he racked up.
“I didn’t know I played that many minutes, I had no idea,” Brown said after the Lakers’ 8-point win. “Obviously with the rotation I thought guys were kind of just going out and coming back in but… it’s a blessing.
“It’s a blessing just to get that opportunity and be in the rotation with those guys and go out there and make those plays. I’m grateful for it.”
Brown made the most of his opportunity on both ends of the floor, knocking down four 3-pointers to finish with 14 points while also grabbing eight rebounds. It is this type of two-way performance that has kept Brown in Darvin Ham’s rotation even after the Lakers’ moves at the trade deadline.
Those moves, along with injuries to key rotation pieces, have caused Brown’s role to switch between starter and reserve. But regardless of the role he is in, Brown is simply focused on giving the Lakers whatever they need from him.
“I think it’s more of a clear head. It’s more of a clear mindset,” Brown added when asked about starting as opposed to coming off the bench. “Not really taking anything personal, trying to be professional and just knowing that they have a plan and they’re trying to put together their stuff so for me, I just know every night what I need to do and just try to make sure I’m locked in and can give the team what it needs.”
Defense, timely shooting, and all-out effort is what Brown brings to the Lakers and providing those things every night is a surefire way to remain a big part of the rotation.
Anthony Davis calls Lakers win over Warriors a ‘team effort’ on both ends
It was undoubtedly Anthony Davis who led the way for the Lakers with his 39-point performance, but the Lakers got big contributions across the board and Davis acknowledged the team effort that led to the win.
“Obviously, with LeBron [James] out, the team is going to rely on me more to make plays for myself and others,” Davis said after the game. “Other guys are stepping up and playing well. Making shots and defending. So it’s a team effort.
“I think we did a good job on both ends of the floor tonight. Like I said, that’s a team whose seen every coverage. Seen a lot of shots go in over the years. They’ve been together for a while. Championship experience. So that was a big win for us.”
It was undoubtedly a big win that inches the Lakers closer to that playoff spot they are chasing.
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