The Los Angeles Lakers made some huge moves in free agency that brought much-needed depth to their squad, including a trade that sent Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley and D’Angelo Russell to town at the trade deadline. Those trades, along with the deal that got them Rui Hatchimura a few weeks ago, have paid off decently so far.
Since the trade deadline, they’ve gone 3-1, including today’s 124-111 win against the Golden State Warriors, who are still missing Steph Curry.
Beasley did a lot of heavy lifting on both ends, leading the Lakers with 25 points, three rebounds and three steals. That helped offset a struggling LeBron James, who shot 5 of 20 from the field and finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Anthony Davis added in 12 points and 12 rebounds while only attempting five field goals and a total of eight Lakers players scored in double figures.
The win was big because it helped the Lakers inch closer into play-in territory, as they’re only 1.5 games away from the final play-in spot that the Warriors currently occupy. Losses for both the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers also mean that the Lakers are within striking distance of leapfrogging their way into the top 10 with a good string of games over the next couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, not everything went LA’s way today. Russell only played nine minutes against the Warriors because he rolled his ankle while trying to inbound the ball. While his x-rays came back negative, it looks like he’ll be day-to-day until he recovers.
An extended absence from Russell would certainly affect their push, as they’ve got a tough schedule coming up. The next 11 games for the Lakers are:
- Dallas Mavericks (Away)
- Memphis Grizzlies (Away)
- Oklahoma City(Away)
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- Golden State Warriors
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Toronto Raptors
- New York Knicks
- New Orleans Pelicans (Away)
- Houston Rockets
- Dallas Mavericks
They’ll certainly be hoping that their starting point guard only misses a game or two, but Lakers fans will be waiting nervously for further news.