Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves — who is averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game across 28 appearances so far during the 2023-24 regular season — recently revealed that he was in bed for 19 straight hours shortly before helping his team win the In-Season Tournament title game against the Indiana Pacers back on Dec. 9.
“I was burnin’ up at the time,” Reaves said of the way he felt after waking up from a nap on Dec. 8, the day before the In-Season Tournament championship game. “I was under the covers. I was burnin’ up, sweatin’, head hurt, couldn’t breathe out of my nose, body — every time I moved — I felt every muscle, every joint, every everything. I was just like, ‘F—.’ So, I didn’t wanna say anything to anybody for a while. I was like, ‘Oh, maybe this will pass,’ knowing it wouldn’t, and then text my trainer and was just like, ‘Look, these are my symptoms, blah blah blah.’ So…we had a FaceTime with our doc ’cause he wasn’t there at the time. And he was just like, ‘Alright, we’re gonna give you some medicine, and we’ll see how you feel tomorrow.’ So I took the medicine, slept from probably 7 to — didn’t go to the team meeting that mornin’, probably left the hotel at like 2 — I was in the bed from 7 to 2, feeling like death was around the corner.”
Reaves didn’t just play in the Lakers’ In-Season Tournament title game against Indiana — he starred in it. He finished with the second-most points on the team — behind only star big man Anthony Davis — in 28 minutes off the bench for Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old dropped 28 points while shooting 9-of-15 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. Plus, he chipped in two rebounds and three assists.
As mentioned, Davis led the Lakers in scoring, as he finished with a whopping 41 points while shooting 16-of-24 from the field and 9-of-13 from the free-throw line. But he did a lot more than just put up points for Los Angeles. He also racked up 20 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in what was perhaps his best two-way performance of the season so far.
Reaves and the Lakers ultimately beat the Pacers by 14 points to win the inaugural In-Season Tournament title.
The Lakers have struggled to win games since earning the In-Season Tournament title, however. The team is currently riding a three-game losing streak, with its losses coming against the San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls.
Arguably the Lakers’ most embarrassing loss of this losing streak came against the Spurs on Dec. 15. The Spurs were riding an 18-game losing streak heading into the game but snapped it after defeating the Lakers by 14 points.
Unfortunately for Lakers fans, the team has a matchup against a very formidable opponent on the horizon. Los Angeles will play the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road on Thursday night. The Timberwolves own the top record in the entire Western Conference and the second-best record in the NBA at 20-6.
The fact that Reaves played in the Lakers’ In-Season Tournament title game against the Pacers highlights his mental toughness, and if he hadn’t been in the lineup for the Lakers, perhaps the team wouldn’t have come away with a victory.