While Isaiah Thomas denied his 20-point, five-rebound nine-assist performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 127-113 victory against his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Sunday night at Staples Center, one of his current teammates told a different story.
Kyle Kuzma said Thomas “was trying to kill the Cavaliers during their 14-point victory.
“He was barking at Cleveland’s bench the whole time, every time he scored,” the rookie told reporters after practice Monday.
“He was only there for 15 games, but it was good to see him try to kill them. We have a saying: Your last team, they didn’t want you.
“He took it to them, and he did a great job.”
After the game, Thomas denied he was attempting to extract a pound of flesh from the team that traded him, Channing Frye and its 2018 first-round draft choice to the Lakers in exchange for Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
“I only played 15 games with the Cavs, so it wasn’t like it was a revenge game,” Thomas said. “I keep saying the world knows what I bring, so I don’t got to play so good just to show them what they gave away. It’s nothing like that. I have really close friends on that team, and those guys are great guys, they just made a business decision, and I’m trying to move on … for the most part.”
Thomas shot 7-of-16 from the field in the game, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half.
“If given the opportunity, I can play like that every night,” Thomas said. “It’s no surprise, I’ve done that before.”