NBA – Disappointing since the start of the series, D’Angelo Russell achieved his best career performance in Game 6. Under the eyes of Kyrie Irving.
Friday evening, the Lakers validated their ticket for the conference semi-final by eliminating the Grizzlies, after a Game 6 which turned into humiliation for the Tennessee players. If Anthony Davis stood out with a monumental defensive performance, another Los Angeles player came out of his box: D’Angelo Russell.
Criticized for his performance in the playoffs, the Lakers point guard had so far been on the series at 13.8 points at 37% shooting including 32% at 3-point range. Disappointing stats for a player who was meant to impact this series. But now, the long-awaited impact has arrived at the best time. In a white-hot Crypto.com Arena to close this series, and under the eyes of Kyrie Irving who came to encourage LeBron, D’Angelo Russell signed his best career performance in the playoffs: 31 points at 12/17 on shots including 5/ 9 to 3-pointers!
“Frankly, the shots just fell in tonight” said D’Angelo Russell. “We did our job defensively. We took easy shots. We had a good start to the game and we never allowed them to come back. So, it’s good for our group, for our starting five who got in tune with the game plan and gave us a bit of leeway. Our ‘second unit’ came and did their job, and we (the starters) came back and finished the game.”.
A cold revenge
D’Angelo Russell was more than up to the job, and he set the tone going with 10 points in the first quarter to put the Lakers up 31-20 after 12 minutes. Subsequently, the men of Darvin Ham unrolled, with a D-Lo who experienced a new heat stroke in the third quarter with 14 points scored.
Top scorer of the game, it’s a nice revenge for the former Wolves leader, who went through his playoff series last season against these same Grizzlies. In Game 6, he scored more points on his own (31) than the Ja Morant / Desmond Bane duo (25).
This is the version of D’Angelo Russell that the Lakers have been waiting for. An ideal version that we have seen so little since his return to the Lakers last February. If he manages to repeat similar performances, it would be a big plus for the Angelinos, since it would relieve Anthony Davis a lot in attack but especially LeBron James. Moreover, the latter finished only once as the Lakers’ top scorer in the series, which is a good sign.
Free agent this summer like… Kyrie Irving
“Good brings good…” s’est ravi D’Angelo Russell. “I am able to make the most of my situation. Of course, you all know what I’ve been through. It’s not a secret. But to be at the top, to accompany this franchise to the next round and to have a new opportunity to control what we want to control, it is a privilege. »
Free agent this summer, Russell chose the best time to sign his playoff points record, and the arrival of Kyrie Irving, who will also be a free agent, was perhaps an additional motivation. Remember, in 2019, it was Irving who pushed Russell out of Brooklyn!