Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Believes Home Crowd Will Help In Game 3 Against Nuggets
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a bounce-back performance from D’Angelo Russell in Game 2, the Los Angeles Lakers found a way to drop the ball in Game 2 as they allowed the Denver Nuggets to erase their 20-point lead and take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Coming into the first round matchup, Russell was widely perceived as the X-factor for the Lakers after his dismal showing in their postseason series last year. Russell delivered on his end of the bargain, scoring 23 points including hitting 7-of-11 of his attempts from beyond the arc.

Russell chalked up his Game 2 scoring frenzy to simply making the shots he missed in Game 1, but now Los Angeles will need him to have a repeat performance if they hope to snap their losing streak to Denver.

The guard has typically performed well in front of the Arena crowd and he said he believes that having them cheering on the team will help them in Game 3.

“I think that’s a big advantage in the playoffs,” Russell said. “Every team relies on that to maybe give you some energy that you’re lacking. So obviously we’re gonna come out with our own energy and continue to build on it and when there’s times throughout the game where they can be more vocal, loud and crazy, I think it will help us.”

Role players like Russell tend to play better at home versus the road in the playoffs, and L.A. is certainly hoping that’s the case this time around. Losing Game 2 was a devastating blow to the Lakers from a mental standpoint as they played about as well as the team could’ve hoped for yet were still left to pick themselves up.

It’s unrealistic to expect Russell to have another hot shooting night from deep, especially because Nuggets head coach Michael Malone will surely have some adjustments to prevent him from going off. It’ll be up to the likes of Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura and the bench to pull their weight and find a way to contribute on both ends.

Austin Reaves says Lakers need to move on from heartbreaking Game 2 loss

Reaves has had a tough series offensively and it’s likely because of all the energy he’s expending guarding Jamal Murray on the other end. Without Reaves’ offensive production, it places a heavier burden on LeBron James and Anthony Davis to score.

Like the rest of the players, Reaves was upset about losing Game 2 but said the group needs to move on.

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