Lakers: How LA Managed To Pull Off A Huge Win Without Its Top 3 Scorers

LA’s role players stepped up to help the team defeat OKC last night.

Last night, your Los Angeles Lakers fended off the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Paycom Center, 123-117, to move to a 30-33 record and the 11th seed on the 2022-23 NBA season.

Lakers role players Dennis Schroder, Troy Brown Jr., and Austin Reaves all had big offensive games for the club, with top scorers LeBron James (right foot tendon injury), Anthony Davis (right foot stress injury maintenance), and D’Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain) unavailable.

Backup shooting guard Reaves notched 19 points while shooting 5-of-5 from the field and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. The 6’5″ shooting guard also chipped in four assists.

Three other Lakers also scored in double figures for the Lakers. Backup wing Lonnie Walker IV nabbed 13 points on 2-of-7 shooting. Reserve center Mo Bamba, promoted to a starting role sans Davis, scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and pulled down seven rebounds. Starting shooting guard Malik Beasley had 11 points at an inefficient 4-of-15 conversion rate.

“I think it’s a big win and a big-time performance from us… it was a much-needed win and we gutted it out,” Reaves declared. “Tonight we took a big step chemistry wise.” 

The club next faces off against D-Lo’s old club, the 32-32 Minnesota Timberwolves, on Friday. Russell and James will be unavailable, though it appears likely that Anthony Davis may return to the lineup.

Minnesota of course remains without one of its own top scorers, power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been out since November, though KAT’s absence might actually be proving beneficial to the Timberwolves thanks to his unhelpful all-offense, no-defense approach to the game. Towns has been sidelined with a Grade 3 calf strain since November 28th.

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