The month of a December was a disaster for the Los Angeles Lakers. After a promising start to the 2016-17 NBA season, the Lakers came back down to Earth last month winning only two of the 16 games played.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles was able to snap a three-game skid with an impressive performance against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. Point guard D’Angelo Russell thinks the team’s struggles in the final month of 2016 helped them get back on track with a different focus. Russell said the following on Wednesday after practice, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
D’Angelo said losing actually helped team re-focus on the little things: "I feel like losing helped us realize that we’re not that good yet"
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 4, 2017
Russell, along with Julius Randle and Nick Young, played well in the win over the Grizzlies. The second-year guard finished with 18 points, six assists, and four rebounds against Memphis with shooting 6-for-9 from beyond the arc. Russell and Young became the first pair of Lakers teammates to hit six or more three-pointers in consecutive games with both players also achieving the feat against the Toronto Raptors before taking on the Grizzlies last night.
The team ultimately cruised to a 14-point victory at the Staples Center to record their 13th win of the season.
The Lakers will hope to take this momentum on the road with the team flying to Oregon on Wednesday to face Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night. Russell and company will then play the second game of a back-to-back at home against the Miami Heat on Friday.