Lakers-Cavaliers takeaways: D.J. Augustin couldn’t miss in L.A.’s win

Lakers guard D.J. Augustin drives against Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro.
Lakers guard D.J. Augustin drives against Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro during the second half on Monday night in Cleveland.
(Ron Schwane / Associated Press)
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The true sign that D.J. Augustin was cooking for the Lakers was when his three-point shot hit the rim late in the second quarter Monday in Cleveland and bounced high off the backboard … and then dripped through the net for yet another trey.

Augustin did not miss a shot in the first half, making all six of his shots from the field and all five of his threes, for 17 first-half points.

He didn’t miss a shot the entire game, going seven for seven from the field and six for six from three-point range.


Augustin credited LeBron James and Russell Westbrook for having faith in him and passing him the ball during the Lakers’ 131-120 win over the Cavaliers.

“Just being ready to shoot,” Augustin said. “Playing with guys like Bron and Russ, they create and draw so much attention and they’re so willing at passing and finding guys. All we have to do is be ready to catch and shoot and knock it down. Just staying ready. That’s the biggest thing.”

When Augustin entered the game in the third quarter, he was still on fire.

LeBron James finished with 38 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the Lakers’ 131-120 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

March 21, 2022

His first shot was a three-pointer from the corner, easing through the net like the previous five.

“I’ve always flourished in my career with shooters and D.J. is a shooter,” James said after posting a triple-double of 38 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. “He’s a big-time maker and every time I see him have any split second of open, I’m gonna try to find him, especially if I have the ball in my hand. And tonight, he was big-time throughout the whole game, going perfect, seven of seven, six of six from the three-point line.”

In 11 games with the Lakers, Augustin is making 40% of his three-pointers and 45% of his shots overall.

“Like I said, playing with Bron and Russ, people are double-teaming them and running guys at them for no reason — well, it’s a reason — but running guys at them, and they’re basically leaving us open just to catch and shoot or swing it to different options,” Augustin said. “I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but our job is pretty easy. And you have to be confident and also have to work on your game outside and make shots. You just can’t catch and shoot it and think it’s going to be automatic. We’ve put in the work to be ready for those opportunities. And they’re so unselfish that we just have to be ready to knock it down.”


Over his 14-year career, Augustin has shot 38% from three-point range.

When Lakers coach Frank Vogel was in charge in Orlando, he saw first-hand how Augustin could shoot with efficiency from long distance for the two seasons they were together.

Vogel was impressed by Augustin once again.

“I don’t think you can be any better. I think the expectation now is he’s shown us he can shoot 100% from the field, so now we expect him to do that moving forward,” Vogel joked. “Not allowed to miss any more shots. Joking, obviously. D.J.’s, he’s a heck of a player. I’ve coached him in the past. I’ve seen him grow even in the years after I was done coaching him in Orlando. … He gives us a great deal of confidence. And he was huge in the first half and throughout, and a big part of the win.”



When: 7 p.m., Wednesday

On the air: TV: Spectrum SportsNet, ESPN; Radio: 710, 1330

Update: The 76ers (44-27), who are 2 1/2 games behind East-leading Miami, rested All-Star center and MVP candidate Joel Embiid (back tightness) during a surprising 113-106 victory over the visiting Heat on Monday. Second-year point guard Tyrese Maxey led Philadelphia with 28 points in the win.