Lakers News: Darvin Ham Praises Collective Effort In Win Over Celtics

The Los Angeles Lakers surprised the basketball world on Thursday night by defeating the Boston Celtics — who hold the NBA’s best record — without LeBron James or Anthony Davis in the lineup. Lakers head coach Darvin Ham emphasized a team approach without either superstar, and the result was a huge victory that could be a turning point for L.A. moving forward.

Austin Reaves had the biggest offensive performance, posting 32 points. But every player brought something to the table. D’Angelo Russell had a season-high 14 assists, Jarred Vanderbilt played outstanding defense on Jayson Tatum, helping hold him to 8-for-21 shooting on the night and Jaxson Hayes had a game-high 10 rebounds with 16 points.

The Lakers had six players finish in double figures, including all five starters. After the game, Ham spoke about what impressed him from the performance and the message he gave the team prior to tipoff, 

“I just think it came from guys knowing that no one probably believes that we had a chance tonight (laughs). I told them before the game, no one man has to step up and carry the big load that our two captains not being there presents. It has to be a team effort. Everybody just play for one another, the only mistake you can make is not playing hard. We’ll figure the rest out. We did that. It’s a shame that he went down, but shoutout to Vando, he set an unbelievable tone for the game with his scrappiness, guarding everybody starting with Tatum, of course. Rebounds, getting us extra possessions, steals, made some great passes and had a couple assists. So he was great along with everybody else, DLo being the captain of the ship and the quarterback on the floor. AR just in constant attack mode, TP solid, Jaxson, Rui, Max, C-Wood, all these guys. They really stepped up and played for one another and it was a balanced effort.”

Playing against the team with the best record in the NBA without your two best players is usually a recipe for a blowout loss, but the Lakers managed to band together and steal a victory in Boston. It’s only the eighth road win of the year for the Lakers as well.

That type of collective effort can certainly unify a locker room, but it remains to be seen what the after-effects are of such an important win.



Gideon Canice

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