Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell Blasts NBA Officiating After Controversial Ruling

dangelo russell

Getty Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell.

The Los Angeles Lakers let a prime opportunity slip away in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets. After accumulating a 20-point lead, the team fell apart in the second half and allowed the Nuggets to come back and tie the game.

As the clock expired, Jamal Murray hit the game-winning jumper to send the Lakers back to Los Angeles down 0-2. There are many reasons why the Lakers lost the game but controversial officiating didn’t help. In the fourth quarter, Michael Porter Jr. was called for a foul while D’Angelo Russell was going for a layup.

After review, the officials overturned the call and Denver got the ball. However, some believed that the officials made the wrong decision. LeBron James called out the officials while Russell took to X to express that he believed that he was fouled.

Russell was clearly struck in the head by Porter but it came after his shot went up. Clearly, they didn’t think it was enough to warrant a foul. Had that call gone the other way, the Lakers may have never been in a position where Murray could hit a game-winning shot.

D’Angelo Tries to Remain Positive

It was a devastating loss for the Lakers. They’ve now lost 10 straight games to the Nuggets. This was a prime opportunity for them to steal a game. They’ll now need to win four of five games to move on to the next round.

While the Lakers lost the game, there were still some positives. Russell has a strong game and scored 23 points. If he can continue to play well, the Lakers’ chances of making the series competitive are much better. It was a frustrating end to the game for Russell but he did try to stay positive in his postgame press conference.

“I like where we were at,” Russell said during his April 22 media availability. “I like the chance we gave ourselves. A few questionable calls that really dictated a lot of movements forward. So, it is what it is. We all saw it.”

The Lakers haven’t played a playoff game in Los Angeles yet so the series is far from over. It’s clear from the first two games that the team has what it takes to be competitive with Denver but they need to figure out how to close out these games.

Do Los Angeles Lakers Have Any Chance?

The Lakers got a good game from D’Angelo Russell and a bad game from Jamal Murray and still managed to lose. Anthony Davis also had a huge game with 32 points. It’s hard to know what else the Lakers can do to beat the Nuggets.

It’s looking more and more like Denver just has their number. The Lakers need to win Game 3 in Los Angeles or else the season is effectively over. There’s never been an NBA team to come back from 0-3. Luckily, the Lakers will be back at home and away from the high altitude of Denver. The team looked exhausted in the fourth quarter of Games 1 and 2 and that could be due to the thin air. The Lakers will be much more comfortable in Los Angeles and perhaps what they need to play a complete game.

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