Sessions hits double-double in debut start with Lakers

Myrtle Beach High graduate and recently acquired Los Angeles Laker Ramon Sessions got to hear his name during starting player introductions at the Staples Center for the first time on Friday night.

Two hours later, Sessions assured that he will hear his name called for many games to come by recording a double-double in the Lakers’ 103-96 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Sessions scored 20 points and dished out 11 assists – both personal bests with his new team. He became the first Lakers point guard to post a double-double since Jan. 11, 2009, when Derek Fisher had 13 points and 11 assists.

“I came to the shootaround this morning, and they told me I was in the lineup and that I should just be ready to go at the beginning of the game,” Sessions told the Associated Press. “When they named me the starter, I called my mom and talked to my close cousin (Trello Galloway). It’s a dream come true, to have my name called like that at the Staples Center.

Sessions was shipped to the Lakers last week at the trade deadline, coming off the bench to average 12 points and six assists in 25 minutes of work. But with Fisher gone to make way for the 25-year-old Sessions, he is ready to make himself at home in L.A., his fourth team in as many seasons.

“My career’s been up and down – starting and coming off the bench,” Sessions told AP. “But this is the biggest thing so far, being on a winning team. A playoff-bound team. A championship-bound team. It’s definitely a great experience, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

Despite his big night, Sessions knows his primary role is the same as the point guard who have preceded him – to get the ball in the hands of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant. So far it seems the two are meshing together.

“Ramon’s a big part of it. With the talent level he has, it’s a pretty easy transition for him,” Bryant told the AP. “He got in the paint and was creating opportunities for everybody else. Offensively, we were executing things extremely well and running things with more continuity. We made a lot of shots, just trying to play the percentages, and we made them take defensive shots.”

The confidence his new teammates are showing in him has made the transition from a bench player with the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA power Lakers much smoother.

“The guys in here believe in me, and they were just telling me to be aggressive and play my game,” Sessions told AP. “I can’t really say what I thought the numbers will be night in and night out, but tonight I was just feeding off Pau (Gasol), (Andrew) Bynum and Kobe. They make my job a lot easier out there. Everybody’s paying those guys a lot of attention, so I just sneak around and take what they give me. When you move the ball like that, it’s tough to lose games in this league.”

Sessions also got the chance to outduel a familiar face for the Blazers – former Latta High standout and AAU teammate Raymond Felton, who was held to only six points and six assists on the night.

 

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