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“Just Couldn’t Manage the Load”: Magic Johnson Praises Jamal Murray, Points Out Where It Went Wrong for Lakers

Abhishek Dhariwal

“Just Couldn’t Manage the Load”: Magic Johnson Praises Jamal Murray, Points Out Where It Went Wrong for Lakers

Who could have thought that the stacked Western Conference, where teams fought for a play-in spot till the last regular season game, would see two sweeps in just the first round of the playoffs? Even though the LA Lakers prevented the third sweep of the conference, the 1-4 defeat would have also pricked fans similarly. One of the hardcore Lakers’ fans, Magic Johnson, also took to X (formerly Twitter) to share his disappointment with his favorite team and praise the Nuggets guard Jamal Murray’s showing in back-to-back clutch situations.

While the desperation of the Lakers’ starting squad was completely visible in the final minutes of the game, it was too late after Murray sunk a game-winning bucket with three seconds on the clock and no timeout for the away team. After a 32-point performance from Murray, Johnson could not help but give credit where it was due,

“​​Wow. Another game-winning shot by Jamal Murray! He played exceptionally well, scoring 32 points after being questionable with a calf injury going into today’s game. The Lakers just didn’t have an answer for him.”

As per StatMuse, Murray averaged 23.6 points per game in the series against the Lakers. But during Game 5, the 6’4″ Nuggets PG came determined to send the Lakers home packing. He added 32 points, shooting 13 of 28 from the field at 46.4%. He went 5-10 from beyond the arc, along with 7 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Usually, it is Nikola Jokic leading the team to victories in such closely-knit games but Murray seemed to be on a mission against the Lakers, even with a strained calf. While the former Lakers PG praised Murray for his efforts, he also revealed when the game got away from the Purple and Gold.

Magic Johnson pointed out the reason behind the Lakers’s loss

Since LeBron James and Co. have been handed an expected loss in the hands of defending champs, fans, and analysts have flocked together to highlight the problems with the team. However, giving his thoughts on what went wrong in Game 5, Magic stated that AD’s injury was the turning point in the battle,

“The Lakers gave a great team effort to try to extend the series, but they just couldn’t manage the load after AD got injured early in the third quarter.”

Anthony Davis bumped into Aaron Gordon during the third quarter, injuring his shoulder. And even though he made his way back onto the floor, his efforts on offense and defense took a substantial toll. He was having a great game, shooting 8-11 from the field, and crashing the boards on both ends. But after he went down, the rest of the Lakers squad couldn’t pick up the pace in his absence.

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

And even though Magic may not have mentioned it, D’Angelo Russell going 2-10 from beyond the arc surely didn’t help the Lakers’ chances of extending the series. LA will now go on to focus on the future of the franchise. And with Bronny having declared for the 2024 NBA draft, let’s see what the franchise does to keep its star around.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

About the author

Abhishek Dhariwal

Abhishek Dhariwal


A fan of the sport since the late 2000s, Abhishek has been covering the game of basketball for the past five years now. Having done his masters in Journalism and Mass Communication, Abhishek prides himself in being referred to as a sports journalist at The SportsRush. A fan of the San Antonio Spurs since the Tim Duncan era, Abhishek has an extensive knowledge of the sport and has covered more than 1500 articles. Having a firsthand experience of the sport, Abhishek has represented his city and state at a district and national level. And it is the same level of expertise he aims to bring while covering extensive topics both on and off the court of your favorite basketball stars.

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