Lakers Highlights: D’Angelo Russell Dazzles In Second Half To Help Pull Away From Thunder

After falling apart in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets, the Los Angeles Lakers had to contend with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night.

Although the Thunder have been one of the best teams during the 2023-24 season, they’ve curiously struggled against the Lakers, who have been about as inconsistent as any other squad. Oklahoma City looked like they were going to run away with the game after a sluggish start of the gates for Los Angeles had them down double digits.

However, a switch somehow flipped for the Lakers as they kicked up their defensive awareness up several notches and mounted a furious comeback that wound up a blowout win for them.

Head coach Darvin Ham made the questionable decision to bench Russell down the stretch against the Nuggets. Instead of pouting though, Russell simply let his play do the talking for him as he routinely burned the Thunder on wide-open looks.

Russell’s never been one to shy away from an electric moment, and he delivered another one when he caught fire from beyond the arc in the third quarter to blow the game open. Each 3-pointer Russell made was more ridiculous than the one before it, but the final one took the cake as he seemingly couldn’t even see the rim before he splashed it home.

Russell had a game-high 26 points with five made 3-pointers, six rebounds, three assists, four steals and a block.

Pacing right behind Russell was Anthony Davis, who Oklahoma City simply had no answer for. Davis played the like the most physical player on the floor, bullying his way underneath for rebounds and second-chance points.

Defensively, Davis showed why he should be getting more buzz for Defensive Player of the Year. On one possession, Davis defended Chet Holmgren one-on-one on the perimeter and completely shut him down.

Davis finished the night with 24 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, one steal and three blocks.

LeBron James was also a terror defensively, exerting more energy and effort on that end than expected. However, James contributed across the box score with a near triple-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.

What’s next for Lakers

The slew of Western Conference opponents continues on Wednesday when the Lakers play host to the Sacramento Kings. Afterwards, Los Angeles gets another marquee matchup when the Milwaukee Bucks come to town. The homestand then continues on Sunday when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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