Rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell had a breakout game on Tuesday night with the 20-year-old scoring a career-high 39 points against the visiting Brooklyn Nets. Russell led the Los Angeles Lakers to victory on their home floor resulting in snapping the team’s eight-game skid.
Following his breakout performance against the Nets, Russell spoke to the media in a Kobe Bryant-like press conference.
The Ohio State product made it a clear that scoring a lot of points or setting records isn’t the reason he plays the game via Greg Beacham of The Associated Press:
D'Angelo: "I don't play for records or statistics. Tonight was just my night, and it just shows what we're capable of."
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) March 2, 2016
Before torching the Nets for 39 points, Russell had yet to crack the 30-point mark in his NBA career. D’Angelo’s previous career-high came back in January when the rookie scored 27 points against the division rival Sacramento Kings on the road.
Russell has scored 20 or more points on seven different occasions this season with all of those scoring performances coming in 2016. D’Angelo averaged 12.4 points per game coming into Tuesday’s game, but it seems though he’s starting to turn the corner offensively and may quickly emerge as one of the team’s best scorers in the final stretch of the season.
The Lakers will now go on the road to play the second game of a back-to-back against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday night. Bryant is expected to return for this game which will be the first time he’ll play in Byron Scott’s new offensive set.
Russell and company will go back to the Staples Center on Friday night to host the visiting Atlanta Hawks.