In mid-March, the Los Angeles Lakers were in danger of missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. They had won nine of their last 13 games, but they were only in ninth place in the Western Conference. Worse yet, LeBron James was sidelined with a right foot injury and Anthony Davis sat out the second of a back-to-back set on March 15 as a precaution.
The Lakers faced the Houston Rockets on that date, and although the Rockets were one of the NBA’s worst teams, they blitzed L.A. early and took a 31-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After that, Austin Reaves was determined to give his team at least a shot at winning.
He led the team in scoring with 24 points, with 11 of them coming in the fourth quarter, and he tied D’Angelo Russell with a team-high seven assists. With the Lakers trailing 109-99 with 1:08 left, he scored eight points from that point on and added an assist to at least make them competitive.
They ended up losing 114-110, but it ended up being one of the performances that would soon put Reaves in the starting lineup for good.
Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire