An ugly start to the season led to the belief that the Los Angeles Lakers’ season was over. However, after an impressive trade-deadline haul, they seem to be back on the right track. The playoffs are just a few weeks away, and the Lakers still have a chance to make a serious push.
LA has won three games in a row, with their most recent victory coming against the Toronto Raptors. D’Angelo Russell played extremely well in the win, and Wenyen Gabriel was even imitating his signature “ice in my veins” celebration on the sidelines. When asked about the celebration, Gabriel had high praise for Russell.
“I was trying to imitate D-Lo real quick, you know what I’m saying?” Gabriel said via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “He was really balling. He was out of his mind today. And we was riding that wave today.”
The Lakers acquired Russell at the trade deadline, and against the Raptors, he put up amazing numbers. He finished the game with 28 points, five rebounds, and nine assists on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 5-of-8 shooting from behind the three-point line. In the fourth quarter alone, Russell posted 16 points, one rebound, and two assists while shooting 5-of-5 from the floor and 4-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
Gabriel also spoke about how different the Lakers are now from just a few weeks ago, noting their constant desire to win.
“I mean, three weeks ago, we was a different team, honestly,” said Gabriel. “Like, I’ve been through three different waves of players here. This is a team that, there’s a different energy to this group we have right now, and it’s something that’s really positive. We just want to keep going in the right direction. We’re all focused on winning, and we like this feeling right now. And we’re going to continue to try to get more wins.
Austin Reaves Shows Love to D’Angelo Russell
Gabriel wasn’t the only one who spoke highly of Russell after the game. Austin Reaves also had some kind words for the Lakers point guard.
“He’s a really good basketball player that plays the game the right way,” Reaves said of Russell via the NBA Interviews YouTube channel. “You don’t really see him too many times, in the midst of a game, making a wild play. He’s very under control, plays at his own pace, and like I said, he’s just super talented. The shots he was hitting in the fourth is ridiculous. You got only a handful of guys that take those shots in those situations. So, shout out to him. It’s good to have him back. We’re looking to keep it rolling.”
Scottie Barnes Name-Drops D’Angelo Russell
Meanwhile, Raptors star Scottie Barnes also had something to say about Russell after losing to the Lakers.
“D’Angelo Russell at the fourth quarter, he made a lot of tough shots,” Barnes said via the Raptors’ official YouTube channel. “Was scoring it. Making some needy trey balls for them. He did a good job facilitating their offense and being able to score the ball at the same time.”