LOS ANGELES — Beginning time out of the playoff image with simply 11 video games remaining within the common season, the Los Angeles Lakers obtained a jolt from a participant whose whole focus matched what the group’s scenario required.
austin reaves scored a career-high 35 factors, together with the Lakers’ final 10, to beat the Orlando Magic 111-105 and tie for No. 9 within the Western Convention and return to postseason seeding.
“Each time I am going out on the court docket, I play with a way of urgency and depart all of it on the court docket, as a result of that’s how I believe basketball must be performed,” stated Reaves, who was celebrated with MVP chants from the gang. Crypto.com Enviornment. .
It’s been fairly the rise for the second-year wing who went undrafted out of Oklahoma in 2021 and initially signed with LA on a two-way deal.
“So that you can acknowledge what I do, I’m clearly not an MVP-caliber participant, these guys are actually good, however for them to try this for me is particular, it means rather a lot to me,” Reaves stated.
And it meant rather a lot to the Lakers on an evening when antonio davis (15 factors, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, 5 turnovers) was not at his finest to keep away from what would have been a second devastating loss within the final week after the Lakers already misplaced a sport to the Houston Rockets.
“He took us tonight along with his sport,” Davis stated. “We all know what we’ve got in Austin. He’s very assured and he performed that approach tonight.”
Lebron Jameswho missed his eleventh straight sport with a proper foot harm, weighed in on Reaves on social media, writing partially: “You’re too HARD!!”
“You’re speaking about presumably one of many best gamers of all time,” Reaves stated. “I imply, I don’t know what to say. For him to just accept me the best way he accepted me from Day 1, clearly I felt like there was actually good chemistry, IQ-wise, from Day 1. But it surely’s not simply him. , everybody else.”
Reaves personally outscored the Magic 10-5 within the remaining minute and 33 seconds, going 8-for-10 from the free throw line and including an 11-foot jumper that gave LA a 105-103 lead with 57.8 seconds remaining. . — a bonus the Lakers by no means relinquished.
dennis schroeder and Malik Beasley drenched Reaves with water on the court docket after the ultimate buzzer to christen the massive sport, as Reaves led to a 61-26 bench lead for LA
Reaves grew to become the seventh participant in Lakers historical past to attain 35 or extra factors off the bench and the primary since. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on March 19, 2019.
He shot 9 of 14 from the sector and 16 of 18 from the free throw line, becoming a member of Lou Williams as the one different Laker to make 16 free throws off the bench for the franchise.
The Lakers (35-37) have 10 video games left, with the Phoenix Suns subsequent Wednesday.
“It’s particular,” Reaves stated of his evening. “I imply, I grew up a Lakers fan. To do it particularly for this group is surreal. Generally I’ve to cease and actually take into consideration what I’m doing… All that makes me glad is successful.”