Thomas Bryant providing the spark and boost Lakers need

The Lakers needed a pull early in the third quarter after a lethargic first half that left them up to 19 points behind against the Brooklyn Nets.

Thomas Bryant was the one who provided that for the Lakers in the third.

He was a force for the Lakers by being aggressive and determined in his game, scoring 10 of his 18 points in the third and helping the Lakers take a one-point lead before falling by three points in the fourth.

“Even though we didn’t hit them in a throw I told him to be active on the offensive glass and roll to seal it and hopefully get him the ball right there within the restricted area where he could finish or a foul could get, or both. ‘ Lakers coach Darvin Ham said of Bryant.

Bryant snagged an offensive rebound in one sequence, scored on putback while being fouled, and completed the three-point play to begin his torrent in the third.

He screened for Troy Brown Jr., then rolled to the basket and hit with a two-handed dunk.

He got the ball off the post and went strong to the basket and ducked.

He showed his shot contact by drilling a three from the corner.

At the end of Bryant’s attack, he was off the field in the third four-for-four, including his one three-pointer. He also had four of his nine rebounds in the third.

“It just happened over the course of our work,” Bryant said. “We saw some discrepancies where they switched one to five and they wanted me to try and exploit what we could down there in the post. I saw that too and I wanted that too. Luckily it helped us to take a little lead in the third quarter. We just had to persevere.”

Bryant has now started 23 straight games, all in place of Anthony Davis, who missed Monday’s game because it’s the front end of a back-to-back set the Lakers are playing at the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

By the start of Monday night’s game, Bryant had averaged 14.4 points and 8.6 rebounds as a starter. He shot 61.8% from the field and 47.1% from three-point range.

“I mean, for me on this team, when I’m playing with sizes like that and everything, I really don’t care — coming off the bench or starting or something — because I know what I’m capable of,” Bryant said. “I know what I can bring to this team and my skills out there. And besides, it’s not bad to support a Hall of Famer in AD and all. But for me, I’m willing to do whatever the team asks me to do to win. Whether that comes from the bank, I’m in. Or when that starts, I’ll be ready too.”

Troy Brown a demon on the backboards

Brown focused on the rebound after Russell Westbrook missed the second of his two free throws, collecting the ball for another Lakers possession. The Lakers missed the next shot, but Brown got another offensive rebound that led to a basket from Rui Hachimura late in the fourth quarter.

Even in the loss, Brown was relentless on the backboards and racked up a career-high 17 rebounds.

“For me personally, I played more of the three today,” Brown said. “So when I play a smaller position, more within my reach where I’m playing, I feel like a lot of guards aren’t speaking out. So it was able to let me fall, let me sneak up on it and get a lot of offensive rebounds and stuff today.

The 6-foot-7 Brown plays forward for the Lakers, sometimes defending small forwards and sometimes defending power forwards.

He played both positions against the Nets, which helped Brown grab seven offensive rebounds.

“He’s definitely a three-and-D guy, but he’s a guy that you can customize and put on the pitch with a variety of different players,” Ham said. “He doesn’t necessarily need the ball in his hands. And I encouraged them all – him, Thomas, Wenyen [Gabriel] – all these types to really make your presence felt on the glass. Especially a team that plays multiple guards like Brooklyn, or another team. He has the ability, the athleticism, the length with which he can give us extra possessions – two, three, four extra possessions.” Thomas Bryant providing the spark and boost Lakers need

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