Dennis Schroder dedicated win over Memphis Grizzlies to friend who passed away on Thursday

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers were struggling on Friday against the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies, falling behind by 13 in the second half. But they got help just when they needed it from a somewhat unlikely hero: Dennis Schroder.

Schroder had a game-winning sequence with a steal and bucket that put L.A. up for good with just seconds remaining. In the win, Schroder got inspiration from a friend of his, a pro soccer player named Anton Walkes, who tragically died this week.

It’s wonderful to learn that Schroder honored his friend in such a way, and the NBA veteran certainly has a lot to be proud of after the 122-121 win.

After posting some big games earlier this month, Schroder hit a rough patch, failing to score in double digits for four straight games before Friday.

In the win over Memphis, his overall shooting wasn’t much better, as he went 4-of-11 from the field. But he came up with his big steal and bucket to claim the victory for L.A., and before that, he converted on four free throws to keep his team in the hunt in crunch time.

Overall, he was 10-of-11 from the charity stripe, allowing him to finish with 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

As many know, Schroder played for the Lakers during the 2020-21 season, but departed in the offseason as a free agent while leaving a bad taste in the mouths of fans. He had to settle on a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics that summer after his offseason seemingly didn’t go to plan.

But he returned to L.A. this past offseason on a veteran’s minimum contract, explaining that there was some “unfinished business” to take care of.

His ability not only to score but also to create transition opportunities and play some pesky defense on opposing ball-handlers is vital to what the Lakers are trying to accomplish this season.

As long as Anthony Davis remains out with a stress injury in his right foot, the team will need Schroder to step things up on both ends of the floor.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.