“I just got in the zone,” Nick Young said after scoring 40 points in a losing effort against the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Young started the game by making his first eight shots and fell only three points shy of his career-high. In the second quarter, Young shot 7-for-8 from the field and collected 18 points in the period. Although the flashy shooting guard cooled off in the second half, finishing with 15 makes on 26 attempts was nothing to frown about.
“He was obviously on fire the first half—brought us back,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said about Young after the game. “The guy can score. I mean, that’s always been part of his game, always will be part of his game.”
Asked how he was able to make shots with video game frequency in the first half, Young offered a unique response.
“Had to be the shoes,” Young explained his sizzling second quarter. “They might not look right, but hey.”
Young was sporting dark yellow colored shoes that hurt eyes about as much as staring into the sun. For all the stick Young received pregame for his unattractive looking sneakers, the player ignored the criticism and put on the ugly footwear. Obviously, the shoes did not impede Young’s ability, as he notched his first 40-point performance with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Young’s love of shoes has been well documented, and his $6,000 pair of Air Nike Yeezy 2 "Red October" shoes were included in the major items stolen from the LA native's home recently.
On Tuesday, Young walked into the locker room wearing a new pair of "Red October" shoes, and he told NBCLA.com that his girlfriend had bought him a replacement pair as a gift. Young’s spirits were raised before the game, and he brushed aside slanted looks and questioning comments from reporters and the Lakers' equipment manager before the game.
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After the game, Young had the last laugh.
"Let me retire these," Young made a scene at his locker as he put his lucky ugly shoes away. "All the magic is gone."
With that, Young confirmed that he will have a different style of shoe for Wednesday night's game in Sacramento.