After over a decade, the Los Angeles Lakers finally clinched a series in front of their home crowd. The last time it happened, it was at STAPLES Center, and even though it was at Crypto.com Arena this time around, the energy was still the same.
The Lakers took down the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 6 on Friday night, securing their spot in the second round of the playoffs. While both LeBron James and Anthony Davis were phenomenal, D’Angelo Russell was the story of the night.
Following the game, he spoke about his performance but quickly deflected credit to his teammates.
“Shots were just falling, honestly,” Russell said. “We were getting it done on defense. Getting out. Getting easy ones. We got off to a great start and never allowed them to get back into it. So, for our group, for our starting five to lock into the game plan and to give us some cushion. Our second group came in and did their thing, and we came back out and finished it.”
Russell finished the game with a team-high 31 points (his playoff career-high) to go along with two rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block. He shot 12-of-17 from the field and 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line.
In addition, Russell spoke about how the Lakers are going to handle the win moving forward.
“Man, good comes to good, honestly,” Russell said. “To be in a position to make the best out of my situation. Obviously, y’all know what I’ve been through. It ain’t no secret. But to be on top and go with this franchise to the next round and get another opportunity to control what we want to control, it’s a blessing, honestly.”
LeBron James Shows Love to Lakers’ Austin Reaves
Recently, James had some high praise for Austin Reaves. During an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, James stated that he enjoys playing with guys that have high basketball IQ.
“I don’t give a f— about, like, athleticism; how great you can shoot the ball; how high you can jump; how fast you can run,” James said. “I like high basketball IQ guys. Obviously, you got to have that s— to win a championship. You got to have guys that can do extraordinary s—. But like, I’ve always had a liking to guys that just know how to play the f—ing game of basketball.”
Jeanie Buss Praises Lakers During Playoff Run
As the Lakers continue their playoff run, it’s clear that they have their eyes on a championship. During a recent interview with Natasha Dye of PEOPLE, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss showed love to her team.
“I’m proud of this Lakers team this season,” Buss said. “We started off poorly, and it would’ve been easy to give up. These guys committed to each other and really came in the second half of the season and made a nice playoff push, which is really what the fans want. They made that sacrifice for the greater good, for the team, and they’ve accomplished a lot because of that.”