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Trade-deadline trio shows its chemistry: Takeaways from Lakers’ win over Warriors

Los Angeles Lakers guard Malik Beasley (5) shoots against Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga.
Lakers guard Malik Beasley shoots in front of Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga during the second half of the Lakers’ 109-103 win Saturday night.
(Jed Jacobsohn / Associated Press)
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The three friends and former teammates gathered at the free-throw line waiting for the results, the hope of D’Angelo Russell, Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley that the officials would let the foul call stand in favor of the Lakers before the third-quarter buzzer had sounded.

The call stood after a review, allowing Vanderbilt to shoot two free throws with 0.6 seconds left in the quarter after he had been fouled by Draymond Green, two free throws he made for an 85-79 Lakers lead at the end of the third.

Russell, Beasley and Vanderbilt had been on the Minnesota Timberwolves last season when the team went to the playoffs, the trio developing a bond that stood after Beasley and Vanderbilt were traded to the Utah Jazz last summer.

With LeBron James sitting out, Dennis Schroder and the newest Lakers helped end a three-game losing streak in a 109-103 win over the Warriors.

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Now they were together again playing major roles for the Lakers, Russell having been acquired in a three-team trade, each arriving on Thursday’s NBA trade deadline day.

“Actually us three were on the floor together a lot of times so we always had that dialogue going and finding ways to use other options, see what they are taking away and what they are giving up,” Russell said. “Just trying to take advantage of that as well. So, it was just open dialogue. Nothing crazy.”

Added Vanderbilt, “I was saying the other day, it makes the change just so much easier when you go through it with someone that you’re familiar with. And I’m very familiar with those guys’ games. And also just off the court. The vibe, the energy that we bring, I think it just jells well with the group of guys that we already got.”

The Lakers made some promising moves before the NBA trade deadline, but make no mistake — they need LeBron James to stay healthy to remain competitive.

Here are three takeaways from the Lakers’ 109-103 win over the Warriors on Saturday night at the Chase Center:

1. Vanderbilt had a good all-around game, scoring 12 points off the bench while grabbing eight rebounds and handing out four assists in 17 minutes.

He was involved in several plays in the third quarter that showed his versatility.

Vanderbilt cut to the basket, took a pass from Austin Reaves and threw down a two-handed dunk.

He grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast, scoring on a 360-degree spinning layup to avoid a defender.

“Yeah, that’s part of the game. I feel like I’ve kind of always played like this,” he said. “The first thing Coach told me is, ‘Just be you. Just go out here and play hard. Bring energy and effort.’ And I feel like I did that. That was kind of the way that the game was going, the flow of the game.”

The 360-move is part of his game?

“Yeah, I put a little extra on it. … Just kind of reading the defense,” he said. “I had one defender in front of me. We ran the lanes pretty well. We were spaced. … Can’t show ‘em everything.”

Late in the third quarter, Vanderbilt was in position to make the play while being fouled by Green because Russell had found him with a nifty pass over the Warriors’ defense.

“Yeah, and we’ve been running that play for a long time, just kind of like me slipping out,” Vanderbilt said. “So, me and D-Lo, it was basically just like old times. We figured I got fouled and we got a great look.”

The Lakers traded D’Angelo Russell in summer 2017 as a young point guard with potential. He returns a one-time All-Star entering the prime of his career.

2. Russell was solid in his 35 minutes, finishing with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds.

He worked with Anthony Davis often to get the offense in gear.

3. Beasley didn’t have as good of a game.

He missed all six of his three-pointers and was two-for-nine shooting from the field.

He finished with four points, two rebounds and one steal in 16 minutes.

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