Lakers News: Darvin Ham Praises D’Angelo Russell For Catching Fire In Fourth Quarter Of Game 4 Win Over Grizzlies
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With a 2-1 series lead, the Los Angeles Lakers knew they had a real opportunity to take control of their first-round matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies came out with the sense of urgency most expected given their backs were against the wall and looked like they would steal a road win in the fourth quarter. However, the Lakers showed some real resiliency and grit down the stretch to force overtime where they eventually came away with the win.

LeBron James will get most of the credit for the victory because he scored the layup to force the extra period and put the game away with another one in the final minute of overtime. However, no one should forget D’Angelo Russell, who managed to knock in three consecutive triples to give the Lakers a lead late in the fourth quarter.

After the game, Darvin Ham gave Russell his deserved credit for keeping Los Angeles alive during such a crucial stretch when they were trailing 97-90.

“I got to give a huge shoutout, again, to D’Angelo Russell,” Ham said. “I mean, we were flailing at best offensively and he was able to catch fire and man, he put us on his back offensively and put us back in position to have a chance to close the gap, eclipse it and walk away with a win. If DLo doesn’t play the way he played, we don’t win this game.”

Russell has struggled through various parts of the series, but he hasn’t let his poor shooting performances discourage him. In fact, he told Ham his mindset is to keep shooting and that things would eventually work in his favor.

“It was huge. He laughs and we joke, he said ‘I can miss five in a row but then I’ll turn around and make 10 in a row.’ And I was actually thinking about that as he was knocking them down. Just him staying ready to be aggressive, staying ready and in attack mode, we need that.”

Russell ended the night with 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting before fouling out in regulation. After a rough first half, the guard really came into his own offensively in the second half to help Los Angeles weather the Memphis runs.

This first round series has really come down to which role players hit timely shots, and Russell by far came through in the most intense game between the two squads. With so much defensive attention on Anthony Davis and James, guys like Russell have to be ready when their number is called and fortunately he did just that.

D’Angelo Russell said he could feel energy in building in Game 3

Coming back home to Los Angeles has done wonders for Russell, who has clearly benefitted from having the home crowd behind him. Russell acknowledged that he and the rest of the team could feel the energy in the building in Game 3, and the crowd did well to keep that up in Game 4.

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