Spurs' Lonnie Walker worked overtime to improve shooting – San Antonio Express-News


San Antonio Spurs’ Lonnie Walker IV reacts after making a three-point basket during first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
SAN ANTONIO – Lonnie Walker took great delight in bringing his own version of “Showtime” to Los Angeles in the Spurs’ 138-110 thumping of the Lakers on Thursday.
With the Spurs holding a 16-point lead with just under 9 minutes to play, Walker’s behind-the-back pass set up Jock Landale for an easy dunk after drawing two defenders away from the rim with a drive into the lane on a pick and roll with the Australian center. 
Seeing Walker dazzle with his creativity and athleticism, Laker fans of a certain age probably had flashbacks to the days of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy.
“That was just me being myself, doing what I do and enjoying the game,” Walker said afterward. “It just happened. It was sure as hell a great pass, let alone to have it happen here in L.A. – bright lights, big city. I had to have some flavor with it.”
Walker’s passing isn’t the only part of his game that’s been spicy lately. Over the last two weeks, his shooting has also been something to behold.
After hitting a paltry 28.6 percent from 3-point range on 5.2 attempts per game over his first 23 appearances this season, the fourth-year guard has shot 41.7 percent from beyond the arc on 5.1 attempts over his last seven games.
He’s averaging 16.1 points during that seven-game stretch and has scored in double figures six times, including four games of 19 or more points. He tied a season high against the Lakers with 21 points on 7 of 12, including 4 of 8 from distance.
“It feels great,” he said of his shot. “It’s back to where it should have been.”
Walker, who is averaging 11.3 points per game for the season heading into Sunday’s home game against Detroit, said working overtime on his shot was the key to his turnaround.
“When I wasn’t playing too well, after games after practices, I was coming back in the gym,” he said. “That’s what kept me sane. I stayed in the gym. After games it was, ‘Aw damn, I’m 1 for 10.’ It’s 11 o’clock, 12 o’clock, it doesn’t matter, I’m going back into the gym. After practice, it was, ‘OK, come back into the gym at six, getting my shots back up, getting my flow back going. 
“You control what you can and let the work speak for itself. I’m not going to sit here and complain about situations. I’m going to keep on staying in the gym. I might just go shoot on Christmas. That might be my present.”
After three years as a part-time employee covering mainly high school sports, Tom Orsborn became a full-time employee at the Express-News in October 1985. He’s covered the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL since 1999 and has also covered the Spurs, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and a variety of other events, including 14 Super Bowls.


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