Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Discusses Game-Winner & Big Night Against Bucks
D'Angelo Russell, Damian Lillard, Lakers, Bucks
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

With LeBron James out with an ankle injury, D’Angelo Russell stepped up in a big way on Friday night to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Russell was on fire from start to finish, scoring 44 points on 17-of-25 shooting (9-for-12 from deep) with six rebounds and nine assists. With the Lakers trailing by one late, Russell hit the game-winning floater to secure the victory.

After the game, Russell explained what he saw on that play and how he was able to come through when his team needed it.

“Just attack. We knew what we were trying to do and what we’re trying to get to. They fumbled the coverage a little bit. Just trying to be aggressive at an earlier time to give us time if we missed the shot to get a rebound and things like that. We got it, made it, got a stop. It was huge,” Russell said.

In Russell’s last 26 games, he’s averaging 22.7 points and shooting 45.7% from 3 on 8.6 attempts. He talked about the rhythm he has been in and how he has been able to sustain it.

“I mean, I said it when I sat out with the tailbone injury and I mentioned to you, just recognizing the pockets that I could be more aggressive in and be efficient in and I saw it and attacked it as soon as I came back.”

The hot streak began right around the time that trade rumors were swirling left and right. Russell didn’t let that affect his confidence though and after staying with the Lakers past the deadline, his play has taken off even mre.

“With my craft, with my talent on the floor, I’ve always felt like I was capable of doing things. Getting hot makes it a little more exciting throughout a game,” Russell said.

“Off the floor, obviously, you know what I’ve been through. Public humiliation has done nothing but molded me into the killer that y’all see today. And I never lacked confidence, I never fear confrontation. I want all smoke. I want to talk about it. Let’s let us high-IQ players, let’s get in the room and talk about it. I just feel confident what I bring to the basketball game. If it is a film, if it is watching and helping young players. I just know what I bring to the table so whatever room I walk in, I’m confident.”

Laker fans have really come to embrace Russell though, especially when he is on a heater and getting the crowd going at home games. He discussed how cool it is interacting with the fans and being able to feed off that energy to help the Lakers.

“I think it’s huge for us to get this win. Obviously, the standings are close and tight and all that, but as a group, we’re trying to get healthy. That’s the hardest thing for us. So for us to scrape wins with the groups that we have out there, not a lot of chemistry with some of those units, but we figure it out and everybody stepping up and making plays,” Russell said.

“For Laker fans, I know how they are in this arena. I know they’re ready to explode at any moment. They go through hell to get here every day and be as loud as they can be and cheer for us through good games or bad games. I know what it takes. So anytime I kind of feel that momentum, I like to get them going. If I can get the crowd waiving or whatever, interact with the fans after the games and giving out shoes. I’ve got a Q&A coming up right now after, so I’m a man of the people. I enjoy the fans, and they support me.”

D’Angelo Russell explains why he didn’t do signature celebration

Ever Since Russell’s rookie season with the Lakers, he coined an ‘Ice in my Veins’ celebration due to his ability to hit big shots. He didn’t do it after his game-winning floater against the Bucks, however, and explained why.

“If you hit a 3, it’s a little more exciting. With the time on the clock, there was a still a little game left, an opportunity for them to win,” Russell said. “So I don’t like the ‘Ice in my Veins’ and we lose, I don’t like to waste it. I like to do it when I know the game is sealed. That’s why y’all haven’t really seen me doing it. We celebrate the shot with that move, but you don’t see me just doing that after we get a stop or I hit a shot. I like it to seal the game.”

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