LOS ANGELES – With eight seconds left in the fourth quarter, D’Angelo Russell sank two free throws in a 1-in-1 situation, to seal a 106-103 victory for the Lakers over the Magic.
“AD’s a monster,” Russell repeated as he walked through the Lakers’ tunnel at Crypto.com arena after the win. While Russell led the Lakers in scoring with 28 points, Anthony Davis commanded both sides of the ball as he tallied 26 points and 19 rebounds.
Even with the contributions from Davis and Russell, the game came down to the wire.
Anthony Davis “is a monster”
Davis had another strong outing for the Lakers that gave the team the boost needed to pull out the win over Orlando. LeBron James jokingly stated during their post-game press conference that Davis disappointed him by not hitting 30 points with 20 rebounds.
“When you’ve got LeBron James on your team and you’ve got Anthony Davis on your team…People know when you step into our environment, that we’re about business and we’re about winning,” Ham stated.
Christian Wood had a near double-double off the bench
Ham also emphasized how the team is on one accord in understanding the importance of playing with intention any time a player has a chance to step on the court. With Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura both out of the rotation due to injury, Christian Wood saw an increase in minutes against the Magic. Wood capitalized on the opportunity and totaled nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three blocks. He played over 26 minutes including down the stretch for the Lakers.
“His ability to be active on the glass and block shots as well proved big,” Ham said referencing Wood.
With the win against Orlando, the Lakers are back to .500 on the season. Following Monday night’s contest, it was announced that James Harden was being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. Coincidentally, the Clippers are the Lakers next slated opponent. The two Los Angeles NBA franchises that share an arena will face off on Wednesday at Crypto.com arena.