During the first half of the potential preview for Saturday’s NBA Finals at Barclays Center, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder kept pace with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving step by step.
The reigning champions played mostly on the shorthand – minus LeBron James (high ankle sprain), Anthony Davis (calf sprain), Kyle Kuzma (calf sprain), Wes Matthews (Achilles) and Marc Gasol (hamstring strain). leggings) – demanding Schroder and the supporting cast to hook up with Irving, Kevin Durant and company.
The exhausted Lakers did this, and more.
Schroder helped propel his team to a surprising 61-58 halftime lead, which ultimately turned into a superb 126-101 rout. Dennis the Menace had 19 points and four assists to go along with his usually pesky defense. He chose switches, especially center Nicolas Claxton, with confident attacks in the basket and above.
Overall, Schroder shot 7 of 11 from the field, 3 of 4 for 3 points, and made both of his free throw attempts. The Lakers set a season high with 19 threes on 55.9% shots in what head coach Frank Vogel described as “a complete team effort.”
However, Schroder’s night ended prematurely when he followed Irving straight to the locker room after both players received two technical fouls for a verbal exchange with 9:41 left in the third quarter.
Irving was apparently angered by Schroder’s actions and could be seen tossing words in his direction. The Lakers guard appeared taken aback by Irving’s feelings as the two players were quickly assessed Ts and were separated. However, neither player seemed interested in ending the conversation, which led to a different technique for each player.
Kyrie Irving and Dennis Schroder were both sent off after entering in the third quarter. pic.twitter.com/i2UEyKba3m
– ESPN (@espn) 11 avril 2021
Schroder provided his take on the incident after the game, although it couldn’t offer much clarity. The Lakers guard claimed he didn’t know he received the initial technique, and he believes he deserved the second for saying goodbye to Irving when he saw his counterpart being sent off (tbh: LOL).
“I didn’t know at the start that we had double techniques when he came towards me. After that I kept asking him, what is he talking about? And he kept talking, kept talking… Then he got kicked out, or got the second technique, and I mean, I said “goodbye”. I don’t even know if I waved to him. I probably did. So what [the official] said, “You too left because you waved to him.” And I didn’t even know that I had had the first technique when he came towards me, ”added the German general.
“I don’t even know what I did, but I was sent off and I apologized to my teammates,” added Schroder.
Kyrie and Schroder both kicked each other out for that… .How ?!
(h / t @TalkinNets)
– Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) 11 avril 2021
(This was the third game in a row in which a Laker has been sent off, following Montrezl Harrell’s unexplained pitch against the Toronto Raptors and Markieef Morris’s late-game ejection against the Miami Heat on Thursday. , Harrell was expelled.for coming to the defense of Schroder, who was strangely suplexed by OG Anunoby.)
For what it’s worth. Schroder disagreed with the referees’ decision.
Irving had 18 points at the time of the fight and looked visibly frustrated with official Zach Zarba for the quick hook. Like Harrell in Tampa, Irving has kidnapped and threw away his jersey in the crowd before entering the tunnel.
Kyrie Irving is kicked out, then throws the jersey and a fan grabs it pic.twitter.com/FX7Cfbbknt
– L’expert NBA (@RealNBAExpert) 11 avril 2021
Durant, who posted a modest 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes, gave his subtle but revealing take on the incident.
“No thought,” he said. “They control the game.”
Intentional or not, Schroder’s successful attempt to get under Irving’s skin turned out to be arguably his most significant contribution to the Lakers’ victory.
The Lakers went into a 42-17 run after the ejection and dominated Brooklyn, 65-43, in the second half. LA was supported by another inspired collective team showing from both sides.
Jeff Green on what happened after Kyrie Irving and Dennis Schroder were both dismissed: “They were the team that got together after that and stayed calm. “
– Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) 11 avril 2021
Despite only working two shifts, Vogel praised Schroder on his performance, as the coach has done all season.
“I love Dennis Schroder,” Vogel says clearly. “This is the first thing you have to say. His competitive spirit, his fight, this booty. It wins for you.
The Lakers impressively held the league’s best offense with 43.8% shots and 5 of 27 of three.
The five Los Angeles starters scored at least 14 points, including a massive 20 and 11 double-double from André Drummond. The other addition to the Lakers’ buyout, Ben McLemore, showed his razor-sharp shooting chops in his second game with the Purple and Gold, hitting five three points on his way to the 17 points.
The Lakers Undermanned show the Nets they’re still the defending champions 😤 pic.twitter.com/1SohnZGe52
– LakeShow (@LakeShowCP) 11 avril 2021
If these two coastal powers do meet in the final, the product on the court should be very different, with significantly more star power. Whatever the differences, one thing is certain: the Schroder-Irving game will be one to watch. Potentially for reasons beyond the score of the box.
“It will be a dynamic game if we see it again this season,” added Vogel.
In the end, Schroder couldn’t help but be positive about the trip to Brooklyn.
“It’s the best win of the year,” exclaimed Schroder.
Despite their ejection, Dennis Schroder and the Lakers beat the Nets by 25 points 🤯 pic.twitter.com/P8he6yBEVb
– LakeShow (@LakeShowCP) 11 avril 2021