The Los Angeles Lakers won't go too far if LeBron James and Anthony Davis aren't at their best. And in Game 2 of the 2023 Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, both James and Davis had their fair share of struggles. James settled for too many three-pointers, and he blew some very makeable shots in the paint, while Davis did not have the scoring touch, shooting just 4-15 from the field. But the Lakers still almost came back from a fourth-quarter deficit thanks to the steady hands of Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.

Hachimura's efficient scoring night (21 points on 8-10 shooting from the field) will be especially eye-catching, but it was Reaves who provided some stability throughout the game. Reaves even banked in a ridiculously difficult three-point attempt with the shot clock winding down late in the fourth quarter. But in the end, it wasn't enough, as the Lakers fell 108-103 to go down 2-0 in the series, which usually does not bode well for the Nuggets' opponents.

Nevertheless, Austin Reaves is already looking forward to the opportunity the Lakers have in front of them to bounce back in front of what should be a raucous crowd at Arena in Games 3 and 4.

“Don't get down. Denver's the one-seed for a reason. They're a really good basketball team and quote-unquote, ‘They did what they were supposed to do here.' Obviously we don't love that. We wish we could've gotten one, two [games on the road],” Reaves said in his postgame presser, per Spectrum SportsNet.

“But it's time for us to lock in on Game 3, see what we did in this game, last game that worked, didn't work, areas that we could get better. Watch film, and move on. I wish you could win them all but it’s not the nature of any sport.”

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Austin Reaves believes that while the Lakers definitely could have improved upon a few things, especially on the defensive end. But moving on, he believes, is imperative especially when the series is far from over.

“There's always, in every game, situations where you look back and think, ‘If we did this instead of this, we could have had a six point lead or an eight point lead,'” Reaves added. “I thought for the most part we defended well besides you know, a couple of those possessions where they got a couple threes. But like I said, [you got to] tip your hat off, and move on.”

The Lakers' next opportunity to bounce back will come on Saturday night at 8:30 PM E.T., when the series shifts to Los Angeles.