Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. has knack for playing through pain

LOS ANGELES — The ball went up in the air. So, of course, that meant Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. would chase it. After all, there’s never a hustle play that Nance decides to take off.

But that also set up a collision course for Nance. With Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell throwing a cross-court pass toward Nance in the final minute of Friday’s overtime win over Minnesota, Timberwolves forward Gorgui Dieng poked Nance in the eye and nose in hopes to grab the ball. Nance immediately went to the ground as he nursed a bloody nose and plenty of dizziness.

“Anytime you get hit in the face or get hit in the nose, it obviously takes a while to recuperate yourself,” Nance said following the Lakers’ 130-119 overtime win over Minnesota on Friday at Staples Center. “Anytime you get hit in the nose, tears start to swell up. It doesn’t matter. I didn’t necessarily want Staples [Center] seeing that.”

Instead, the crowd at Staples Center saw Nance provide another example of his toughness. Instead of leaving the game, Nance stood up and went to the foul line. Though he later lamented he only split his pair of free throws, Nance deserves kudos for even stepping to the foul line and taking them. Nance also made a pair of foul shots in a Lakers’ win against Phoenix on Nov. 6 after taking a hard fall that later developed into a concussion.

“At a certain point, it becomes muscle memory,” Nance said. “Whether I was seeing 1 ½ or 2 rims, my muscles kind of took over and guided me on those.”

That just begs one question. Why do this incidents seemingly only happen to Nance?

“I asked the same question. I blame D-Lo,” Nance said, smirking, referring to Russell. “He set that up. That’s like throwing to your receiver across the middle. He saw the safety in the background. He threw it up. Like an idiot, I put hands over my body and got cracked for it. I’ll have words with him.”

Meanwhile, Lakers fans had words for Nance. After staying silent as he stayed on the ground, the sellout out crowd at Staples Center broke out with “LA-RRY, LA-RRY” chants once he stood up. It reminded Nance of his days at University of Wyoming and two stints with the Lakers’ summer league team where he became fan favorites. Nance’s ability to play through pain partly explains their affection for him.

“Staples Center is chanting my name?” Nance said, excitedly. “On Shaq’s night? It was a really cool feeling.”


RELATED:

Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson improved his confidence to secure career-highs against Minnesota

Who will be the next Laker to receive a statue?

Lakers podcast: What does Shaq’s statue say about his legacy?

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mmedina@scng.com. Subscribe to the “We Want Tacos” podcast on iTunes.

  • http://secure93.com Elijah Stephens

    I was paid 104000 dollars last year by doing a web based task and consequently I was able to do it by w­orking in my own time f­o­r several hours regularly. I utilized work opportunity I found out on-line and I am delighted that I was capable to make such good money. It is genuinely newbie-friendly and I am so delighted that I found out regarding it. Check out what I do… http://nubr.co/tcFsDm

  • http://secure93.com Taylor Vaughn

    Home-based mom Kelly Richards from New York City after resigning from her fulltime profession been able to average from $6000-$8000 per month from freelancing at home…I asked her about how she discovered her tight lip secret. “Honestly, it is simpler than you would imagine, all I did was complete a basic form to get front line access to the Home Profit System. I purchased the instructions tool kit and within a month I was making over $4,000 per month. The instructional materials are pretty simple, I am not a computer whiz, but I can use the internet. I fill up forms and search web sites, I don’t even have to sell anything and no-one has to purchase something. It is as easy as being on facebook.” This is how she done it >> http://www.get.lc/OyEPi

  • http://secure93.com Victor Andrews

    Owner of Yahoo!, is helping consumers to begin with “Work at home” method, that I have been doing for about a year now. This year alone, I made approximately $36k up to now with no more than my personal pc as well as some free time, despite that i have a regular 9 to 5 job. Even people newbie in this, can make $50/per h easily and the profit can be even very high over time… This is how i started >> http://kxk.me/?2DbcO

  • http://secure93.com Peter Cole

    If you are trying to find authentic web based home-based venture but you are sick of web-based scammers then this is certainly what you need. I started working on this gig two years and Now I am receiving $7000 or over every month quite easily. Earn income same as me… Take a look at details >>>>>>>>>>> http://s.id/4vv