Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell Praises Darvin Ham After Win Over Bucks
Darvin Ham, D'Angelo Russell, Lakers
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Everything clicked for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night when, after a dismal first quarter, they clawed their way back to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in double overtime without LeBron James available for head coach Darvin Ham.

Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves led the way for L.A., each posting stellar performances as the Lakers upset the Bucks on their home floor.

Russell finished with 29 points and 12 assists on 5-for-12 from beyond the arc. He was tied for a game-high plus-10 with Taurean Prince and played 50 minutes, only two behind Davis for the highest by a Laker since Kobe Bryant in 2012. Ham worked with what was effectively a seven-man rotation on the night and leaned on his stars to not only carry the weight offensively, but force Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard into inefficient shooting nights.

After the game, Russell was hugely complimentary of Ham’s coaching effort as well as what his teammates did to fight back and steal a big victory in Milwaukee, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:

“That was huge. Huge win for the team. Everybody pitched in. Darvin was amazing, man. He drew up some great sets for us at the end of the game and gave us some good looks. I think emotionally, we were all put in on that one. Everybody was two feet in on that game wanting to do whatever it took. I don’t know how I feel right now, kind of still in it.”

Russell admitted that a performance like this only serves to remind L.A. what they can do at their best, while still knowing that they are not always that team:

“I just think we’re an unpredictable team. So it depends on which team you get, depends on which team we are defensively, offensively, as a unit. Some guys are better than others, there’s nights some guys have bad nights. It just depends on what team we’re gonna be. When we’re in full effect like tonight, obviously no Bron, but I think we’ll be hard to beat.”

The guard hits the nail on the head in his assessment of the Lakers. When they are at their best, they can beat anyone at any time. However, seeing them at their best is not a frequent occurrence, and consistency is still needed if the Lakers are going to make a late push in the postseason.

But for nights like Tuesday, they can celebrate a massive victory without their superstar leader in James, knowing that each and every player did their part to keep a win streak alive and start their six-game road trip on the right foot. Even the head coach did his part, so it was also cool to see Russell showing Ham some love given their history.

Anthony Davis credits Lakers for high-level basketball

Reaves and Russell were stellar for the Lakers in the backcourt, scoring at will, distributing with ease and limiting Damian Lillard to 9-for-29 from the field. But the true superstar was Davis, who did just about everything in his power to will the Lakers to the shocking comeback win. His 34 points, 23 rebounds, two steals and four blocks in a career-high 52 minutes is just the surface of his impact on the game.

But Davis focused on the high-level basketball played by his teammates and how it translated to a fun game for the Lakers that resulted in a huge victory.

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