Third victory in a row for the Los Angeles Lakers, relaunched in the race for the play-offs

Third victory in a row for the Los Angeles Lakers, relaunched in the race for the play-offs

This is called a thunderous comeback. Like the last quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers against the Toronto Raptors (37-22), D’Angelo Russell signed a remarkable comeback on the boards of the Staples Center: the playmaker, whom the Californian franchise went to Minnesota before the end of the transfer market in early February, was essential in the victory of his people on Friday night (122-112).

Indispensable in particular because Anthony Davis, who has become the first offensive leader of his team since the announcement of the long-term package (3 weeks at least) of LeBron James, has very often come up against the defense of the Canadian team, ending the game with an unusual personal record (8 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 blocks). Led at the start of the final period, Darvin Ham’s men therefore relied on Russell, author of two crucial three-point baskets to push the visitors while Los Angeles had just taken the advantage. ” That we were able to win against a very good team with only 8 points (by Anthony Davis) shows that we are growingwelcomed the coach. It’s a testament to our depth and the talent we possess. »

Equally appreciable: the discreet performance of Davis was compensated by the accomplished outings of Rui Hachimura (16 points), Austin Reaves (18 points, 5 assists) or even the German leader Dennis Schröder off the bench (23 points, 7 assists, 4 steals). For the hero of the evening, Russell, the victory was all the more appreciable as it was acquired in a beautiful atmosphere. From those he had known when he played his first two seasons with the Lakers (2015-2017). “The fans are ready to explode at certain points in the gamehe recalled. I just wanted to bring my energy and pass it on to them. This should not go unnoticed, because our fans are the first to recharge our batteries in good times, so why not do the right thing, bring the positive and soak up what the fans have to offer. »

Completely revived in the West

With a series of three wins in a row (7 out of their last 9 outings), the Lakers have returned perfectly to the intense race for the play-offs (and the play-in) in the Western Conference. And this despite a negative balance (33v-34d). Ninth, they have only two victories behind the Los Angeles Clippers (35v-33d), and have, theoretically, the most favorable schedule of the conference.

Beware of a relapse, however: thirteenth place, occupied by Portland (31v-36d), is not that far away. But for the first time this season, probably, the 2020 champions have good reason to believe that they are able to hang on, at least, the play-in (mini-tournament which allows them to climb into the play-offs ). In order to validate the thesis, a fourth success, against New York on Sunday (still at home), would be a real signal.

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