Austin Reaves sat at the podium, and his eyes finally drifted down to the table to look at the stat sheet, a look of surprise as he saw how much time Troy Brown Jr. had played for the Lakers in Sunday’s win over the Golden State Warriors. in the afternoon.
“Did he play 41 minutes? Wow!” Reaves said.
Specifically, Brown played 41 minutes and 11 seconds, the most of the game.
During that time he showed his game, scoring 14 points on five-of-10 shooting, four-of-seven three-pointers, eight rebounds and two assists.
He also did his part defensively, defending Klay Thompson at times, Stephen Curry getting caught on a switch, Draymond Green or any other player the Lakers asked him to guard.
“Honestly, I didn’t know I played that many minutes,” Brown said. “I had no idea. Obviously, with the rotations, I thought I’d be out and then in, but I wasn’t looking at the stat sheets. It’s a blessing, honestly, to get that opportunity, especially now playing with time and playing for something with us and being able to be out there with those guys and make big plays. I appreciate that.”
Brown is back in action as LeBron James is out with a right foot injury. Brown moved to the bench when Lakers coach Darvin Ham decided to start recently acquired Jarred Vanderbilt alongside Anthony Davis and James.
Brown never let that become a problem.
“It’s great to have a kid like that, the way he shoots the ball, the way he puts it on the floor, he makes rebounds. He’s big,” Ham said. “He played 41 minutes today, but we needed 41 tonight. The work he did on Klay, when he got the crossover with different guys, he won gold tonight. But it was a pleasure. He’s another, just a nice kid. It has been a pleasure to train this season.”
It was Brown who cut to the basket and scored, catching a pass from Davis late in the fourth quarter for a two-point lead that the Lakers never let slip away.
He then grabbed a defensive rebound on the next play and drilled a three-pointer a few possessions later.
So, Brown said, starting or coming off the bench won’t be an issue.
“I think it’s more about a clear head, a clear mindset,” Brown said. “It’s not taking anything personal, trying to be professional and knowing they have a plan and the coach has a plan and they’re trying to get their stuff together. So for me, I try to go out every night and do what I can do and make sure I’m locked in and give the team what I need from my side.”
Dennis Schroder plays through an ankle injury
Lakers’ Dennis Schroder is fouled by Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole in the second half on Sunday.
(Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)
Dennis Schroder is playing with a left ankle injury suffered against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Lakers player is sitting out the injury because it is necessary.
Schroder starts with D’Angelo Russell out with a sprained right ankle.
In Sunday’s game against the Warriors, Schroder played 33:16 and had 11 points and six assists.
“There’s a lot of pressure right now,” Davis said. “He is our main player. We’re missing our two in LeBron and DLo, and guys are trying to take over the whole court. But he is finding a way to navigate. I’m not sure if it bothers his ankle or not, but it’s really hard. Goes out and finishes the OKC game, plays against Minnesota. He knows the stakes, he wants to reach the playoffs, he wants to win at all costs, and he will go there and try.”
Schroder received treatment after the game, doing everything he could to get ready.
“Yes, I had a lot of treatment on my ankle. I feel good now,” he said. “The last game was a little bit… I was still thinking about it a little bit. But at the moment, I think I feel in a good place.”
Schroder will be counted on to run the offense while Russell and James are on the sidelines.
Not only that, but Schroder has to play his usual tough defense against the best point guards in the NBA.
“I try to make the right decisions,” Schroder said. “The most important thing is that we just structure the attack and don’t waste it and don’t have bad shots. I try to run the offense and put people in a position to score. It was a decent job today and AR (Austin Reaves) also did a great job.”