Los Angeles Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell had the best game of his young career Tuesday night against the Brooklyn Nets. The guard from Ohio State tallied 39 points with eight three pointers to go along with six rebounds and three assists.
Behind the stellar performance by Russell, the Lakers were able to snap their eight game losing streak with a 107-101 win. Los Angeles was without Kobe Bryant, but that only meant more opportunities for the team’s second overall draft pick.
Russell has seen inconsistent playing time this season and many have criticized head coach Byron Scott for keeping him on the bench. Following the win, Scott spoke to the media and talked about Russell’s development in his rookie year, via Bob Garcia of Sports Out West:
Byron Scott on D'Angelo Russell:"I wouldn't say I have loosen up but more demanding.I have been happy with his progress for months." #lakers
— Bob Garcia IV (@bgarcia90) March 2, 2016
This season, Russell has averaged 12.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Only recently, however, has he gotten the starting lineup nod from Scott. Previously, Russell was coming off the bench for Lou Williams and many felt like he wasn’t getting the playing time he deserves.
The Lakers do not have many games left on the schedule and these next couple of months will be focused on celebrating Bryant and developing the young players. The franchise will also have its eyes on the draft lottery in May as it looks to add another piece for the rebuilding process.
Los Angeles will be back in action on March 2 when it travels to Denver to face the Nuggets. Denver has had its struggles as well this season and the team has just 23 wins on the season. Russell performed extremely well Tuesday night and the coaching staff hopes he can remain consistent and put on another spectacular show.