D’Angelo Russell Stuns NBA Fans with Clutch 4Q as Lakers Beat Bucks Without LeBron | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 08: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to making a shot during the first half of a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Crypto.com Arena on March 08, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

One month after being the subject of trade rumors, D’Angelo Russell has emerged as arguably the most important player for the Los Angeles Lakers and their quest to make the playoffs.

Russell went off with 44 points on 17-of-25 shooting (9-of-12 from three-point range), nine rebounds and six assists in the Lakers’ 123-122 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

Los Angeles was playing without LeBron James, who is nursing an ankle injury. The Lakers are now 5-4 this season when he doesn’t play.

Russell’s heroics overshadowed Giannis Antetokounmpo’s triple-double with 34 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in 39 minutes. Damian Lillard had his first double-double since Feb. 23 with 28 points and 12 assists.

Among the many highlights for Russell was hitting the game-winning shot with five seconds remaining.


D’Angelo Russell WENT OFF for 44 PTS and scored the game-winner to give the Lakers the edge over the Bucks!<br><br>🔥 44 PTS<br>🔥 9 3PM<br>🔥 9 AST<br>🔥 6 REB<br><br>▪️ Russell joins LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only players in Laker history with 9 3PM in a game <a href=”https://t.co/HYC2LQOGVx”>pic.twitter.com/HYC2LQOGVx</a>

Russell scored 21 of the team’s 27 points in the fourth quarter. He’s the first Lakers player to have that many points in the fourth quarter since Kobe Bryant’s final game.

Speaking to reporters after his iconic performance, Russell had one of the best quotes of the season talking about how past adversity has shaped his performances this season:

Lakers fans, who have a hot and cold relationship with Russell, are certainly very appreciative of what he’s doing for the team right now. Bryant’s name was evoked by more than one person coming out of this game.

It wasn’t that long ago when Atlanta Hawks fans were chanting “we don’t want you” at Russell amid rumors the Lakers wanted to use him in a deal for Dejounte Murray prior to the trade deadline.

Since the deadline passed on Feb. 8, Russell is averaging 21.6 points on 45.0 percent three-point shooting and 6.3 assists per game in 12 starts. He’s scored at least 20 points seven times and made at least four threes six times during that span.

The Lakers are 8-4 in their last 12 games with wins over the Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder. They still find themselves in the play-in mix as the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference with a 35-30 record, four games behind the Sacramento Kings (36-26) in the loss column for the seventh spot.

Next up for the Lakers is a showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves at Crypto.com Arena on Sunday at 9:30 p.m. ET. Minnesota won the first two meetings between these teams in December.

First appeared on bleacherreport.com

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