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‘Getting guys involved’: How Reaves, Schroder impact Lakers win

They were an equally important pair for the Lakers as their two famous teammates, the play of starting guards Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder providing key plays for the team.

They played just as many minutes for the Lakers as star teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the work Reaves and Schroder put in during their overtime victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night at Vivint Arena a big key for Los Angeles finishing the four-game trip unbeaten.

Reaves and Schroder combined for 46 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Reaves, who had 28 points on eight-for-13 shooting, six assists and three rebounds, did his part in 41 minutes and 32 seconds.

Schroder, who had 18 points on seven-for-18 shooting, four assists and three rebounds, did his share in 41:53.

Reaves and Schroder needed to play well because starting point guard D’Angelo Russell was out because of a sore left foot.

And both of them did, stepping into a void to play with determination.

“It’s important for our backcourt to be complementary to one another, especially when you got DLo out,” said James, who scored the game-winning layup in overtime to finish with 37 points, six assists and five rebounds in 38:28. “So, to have that backcourt production, them not turning the ball over, them getting shots at the rim, them getting guys involved, it’s important for them to stay focused and lock in on that. So, them two have been playing good basketball for us all year and they continued it tonight.”

With the Lakers down three points in the overtime, Reaves calmly hit a 19-foot jumper.

On the next possession by the Jazz, Kelly Olynyk was called for an offensive foul while trying to set a screen on Reaves, who also took two charges earlier in the game.

It was just another job well done by Reaves, and he relishes his time playing alongside Schroder.

“I mean, any time you can put those numbers on the board with what AD [Anthony Davis] and Bron do separate, it’s going to be hard to beat us just because how much they do and how good that they are,” Reaves said. “If we can be solid around that, then it’s major. But everyone pitched in tonight. It was a good team win.”

Reaves and Schroder played just as hard on the defensive end. They take charges. They switch on defense to bigger players. They are not afraid to be physical.

And they took care of the basketball, each of them turning the ball over just two times.

“That 1-2 punch of those two, their games totally complement each other,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “And when we get DLo back, you throw him in and have a three-headed monster of those three guys. They’re all able to make plays, they’re all able to knock down big shots, they all play big in big moments, all high-IQ, smart basketball players. So, it’s great.”

Reaves was outstanding for the Lakers on the trip. Over the four games, he averaged 20 points and 5.2 assists per game. He shot 62.1% from the field and 57.1% from three-point range.

“Yeah, he’s doing everything we need him to do on both ends of the floor,” said Davis, who had 21 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in 42:05. “He took a couple of charges tonight. Big shots, threes, everything.

“He has been playing phenomenal for us and we’re going to continue to need that in the final three games that we have. But he’s just dialed in right now. He’s locked into what we’re doing. He knows what we need from him. We’re asking him to take big shots and he’s not afraid of the moment and it shows.”

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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