Lakers’ Austin Reaves Backs LeBron amid 3-Point Issues: ‘Let Him Shoot All He Wants’

Lakers’ Austin Reaves Backs LeBron amid 3-Point Issues: ‘Let Him Shoot All He Wants’

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 19, 2023

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) drives past Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference Finals series, Thursday, May 18, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

Los Angeles Lakers wing Austin Reaves backed superstar teammate LeBron James in the wake of him missing all six of his three-pointers in a 108-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday.

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Austin Reaves: “Let him shoot all he wants. It’s LeBron James … We want him taking what he feels comfortable with. He’s a winning player”

It was a rough night for most Lakers shooters outside Reaves, who hit five of nine shots from beyond the arc. Outside of him, the Lakers went just 3-of-21 on three-point attempts. Meanwhile, the Nuggets hit 14 three-pointers, with Jamal Murray hitting six en route to his game-high 37 points.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

LeBron James has missed 19 straight threes in the fourth quarter this postseason. pic.twitter.com/olPhiPsSqH

Outside of his three-point shooting struggles, James largely fared well in Game 2. He shot 9-of-13 on two-pointers and added 10 assists, nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks to go along with his 22 points, which matched a team high.

James also excelled in Game 1 with 26 points, 12 rebounds and nine dimes in the Lakers’ 132-126 loss to Denver. He did miss all four of his three-pointers but shot 9-of-12 on two-pointers.

The three-point line hasn’t been James’ friend in this year’s playoffs, however. He made just 19.5 percent of his attempts in the first round against the Memphis Grizzlies and 33.3 percent of them in Round 2 versus the Golden State Warriors.

That certainly hasn’t hindered James from leading the seventh-seeded Lakers to the Western Conference Finals, however, as the 38-year-old stars once again in his 20th NBA season.

James and the Lakers will look to bounce back in Game 3 on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Los Angeles.

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