Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Discusses What Went Into Bounce-Back Game 2 Performance Against Nuggets
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Nuggets
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest reasons the Los Angeles Lakers lost Game 1 to the Denver Nuggets was due to the off shooting night from D’Angelo Russell. The guard shot just 6-of-20 from the field and 1-of-9 from 3-point range in the 11-point loss.

But Russell was determined not to have a repeat performance in Game 2 and he delivered, knocking down 7-of-11 shots from deep to finish with 23 points. Unfortunately for Russell and the Lakers, it still came in a loss as they now head back home down 2-0 to the Nuggets.

When asked about his bounce back performance, Russell had a simple explanation for what happened.

“I made shots,” Russell said. “Same shots I took first game and I missed. Same thing. I was like 6-for-20 or something like that, could’ve easily been 10-for-20 at 50%, whatever. Keep shooting. Teammates trust me so try not to let them down.”

Indeed, many of Russell’s looks in Game 1 were shots that he has made at an excellent rate all season long, they simply didn’t go down on that night. But Russell refused to lose confidence and was willing to take those same shots in Game 2 with much more success.

It is that confidence in himself and his abilities that led to an outstanding season for the Lakers point guard this season and, as he noted, Russell’s teammates trust him so when he has those looks, he needs to take them to keep the defense honest.

The Lakers always had a tough task in front of them, trying to defeat the Nuggets who have simply had their number over the past couple of seasons. But in order for them to have any chance, they need D’Angelo Russell to continue to play more like the Game 2 version of himself as opposed to the player who showed up in the series opener.

Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell unhappy with overturned foul call late in Game 2

D’Angelo Russell could have added a couple more points to his total if he had been rewarded two free throws following a foul call in the third quarter on Michael Porter Jr. The Nuggets forward hit Russell in the face after he released the shot, but after an official review, the call was overturned and Denver was rewarded the ball.

After the game, Russell wasted little time in expressing his frustration over the call, taking to social media and saying that everyone saw the foul on TV while also telling reporters that there were a ‘few questionable calls’ that didn’t go the Lakers way.

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