Recap: D’Angelo Russell Goes Off To Lead Lakers To Big Win Over Bucks
D'Angelo Russell, Lakers, Bucks
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Coming off a rough loss to the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to get back on track on Friday night although things didn’t get any easier with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and the Milwaukee Bucks coming to town.

To make matters worse, the Lakers were without LeBron James due to an ankle issue. That didn’t matter though as D’Angelo Russell went off for 44 points to lead the Lakers to a 123-122 victory.

The Bucks got off to a quick 14-8 start as Antetokounmpo was in attack mode and Malik Beasley and Brook Lopez both connected from deep.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who got the start in James’ place, helped settle the Lakers in by hitting an open triple. Anthony Davis also started to get going offensively with some nice drives to cut the deficit to 30-27 at the end of the first.

Rui Hachimura hit a midrange jumper and then Russell drained a 3 to begin the second, allowing the Lakers to take the lead. Russell made two more triples after that, which helped the Lakers stay in front despite multiple three-point plays from Antetokounmpo.

The Lakers began to build a lead from there with Davis and Austin Reaves leading the way. Cam Reddish also chipped in five straight points.

After a quiet start though, Lillard eventually got going offensively to bring his team right back as the Lakers went into the halftime locker room with a 67-63 lead.

Beasley and Lillard stayed hot during halftime as they both connected from deep to begin the third. The Lakers had a nice response though with Russell and Davis finding each other for open looks to force a quick Bucks timeout.

The Lakers started allowing Antetokounmpo get downhill from there, and the Bucks are a problem when that happens.

As Milwaukee cut into the Lakers’ lead though, Taurean Prince hit a pair of big triples and a layup to keep his team in front. The Lakers then had a strong close to the quarter with Russell hitting from deep and Reaves coming up with a steal and layup to beat the buzzer, extending the leas to 96-90 going into the fourth.

The fourth quarter began with more of the same as Lillard and Co. tried to chip away at the Lakers’ lead, but Russell kept hitting timely triples to stay in front.

The game stayed close throughout as the Lakers were able to maintain a small advantage until the Bucks finally took the lead with a few minutes to play. They took control from there as Lillard completely a four-point play to give them a 118-112 advantage.

Rui Hachimura responded with a triple and then Russell hit yet another one, making it a two-point game in the final minute. Antetokounmpo his a big bucket from there.

Russell, of course, responded with a three-point play to get it back to one. After a missed layup by Lillard, the Lakers got the ball back with 23 seconds to play.

Again, it was Russell that came up big with his team with a bucket to put them up 123-122 with 5.9 to play. Dinwiddie then came up with the game-winning block on Lillard, sealing a huge victory.

What’s next for the Lakers

The Lakers return to the court on Sunday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves. James’ status will be worth monitoring up to that game and hopefully he is able to return to the lineup for L.A.

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