Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Discusses Mindset During Big 3-Pointer Against Pelicans
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday presented an opportunity for the Los Angeles Lakers to punch their ticket into the postseason. Playing the New Orleans Pelicans for the second straight time was no easy task, but D’Angelo Russell came up big in securing the seventh seed.

In a game where LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined 12-for-36 from the field, other players had to step up, especially starters. Russell got going in the first half, but the biggest shot he made was with 50 seconds left in the fourth quarter, drilling a 3-pointer to give L.A. a four-point lead.

Leading up to the shot was a huge possession as the Pelicans had taken all of the momentum, battling back from down 18. Russell shared his thought process when Austin Reaves found him wide open in the right corner to ultimately seal the game in an interview with Mike Trudell on Spectrum SportsNet:

“Make it. Honestly, everybody came locked in, everybody came and was efficient with whatever it was to dictate the win. Just wanted to make shots, that’s what I do. Just continue to try to be a high percentage shot-maker for the team.”

However, making that shot may have been harder if the 28-year-old did not get rolling in the first two quarters. Coming off a mini-slump towards the end of the regular season, he maintained the same scoring mentality regardless of the opponent:

“Just trying to have the same mentality, same approach for whoever we play. Back-to-back games against them, we treated it like it was a playoff series at their place. So that was my main focus, just try to lock in to what our objective was and play as hard as I can.”

When Russell is engaged offensively, this Lakers team goes up another level, adding another dynamic scorer outside of the two stars. The 6’3″ guard finding his rhythm again ahead of their first-round series against the Denver Nuggets would be huge for the Lakers.

To have a great performance on Tuesday and now with a chance to redeem himself from last year’s Western Conference Finals could put the cherry on top of an already great season for Russell.

D’Angelo Russell has ‘nothing but love’ for Pelicans’ Jose Alvarado

Perhaps a factor that got D’Angelo Russell going against New Orleans is an early skirmish between him and Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado. The two got in each other’s faces, which resulted in a double technical foul. However, Russell said after the game that he has ‘nothing but love’ for Alvarado.

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