It took the Los Angeles Lakers a few tries, but they finally got their first win in the NBA 2K23 Summer League in Las Vegas when they beat the L.A. Clippers 83-72.
It was an even match in the first half as the two teams traded runs, but the Lakers went into halftime trailing by three. However, the Lakers turned it up defensively in the second half as they held the Clippers to only 26 points and walked away with the hard-earned win.
The Laker starters outside Max Christie had efficient shooting nights, but it was Mason Jones and Javante McCoy off the bench who helped seal the win as they scored 15 and 14 points, respectively. For McCoy, this was his best performance with the Summer League team and he said he had been ready for the opportunity for more minutes.
“I just really played my game,” McCoy said. “Really was just ready for my opportunity, I knew I was coming off limited minutes and I just wanted to make the most of it. Really just play hard and be able to play off guys and get to my spots.”
McCoy also explained that the Lakers were able to close out the game so well because they played more together than they have been recently.
“I think we played a lot more as a team. I think we played with a lot more energy, we turned it up defensively. Like you said, how we kind of closed out the game in the fourth quarter I think that was the biggest difference and we just stayed locked in and kept encouraging each other.”
The shooting guard was a reliable source of offense in the second half, using his patented spin move to get shots off in his preferred mid-range area. Defensively, he competed and along with his teammates made it difficult for the Clippers to get quality looks.
Although the Lakers are eliminated from championship contention, players like McCoy will get their opportunity to showcase themselves in the next couple of games. With his size at the guard spot and ability to create shots, McCoy makes for an interesting flier for the Lakers or another team.
Javante McCoy living his dream
For undrafted players like McCoy, it’s an uphill climb to make it to the NBA. However, he has been relishing his team with the Lakers Summer League roster and is happy to be where he is now.
“It’s been a dream come true. I’ve pictured being here since I was young and to actually be here is unreal. Having LeBron in the game, having other roster guys watching has been an unreal experience and I’ll be forever grateful for it.”
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