D’Angelo Russell finally gets his first moment. pic.twitter.com/luVBLIinHF
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) December 10, 2015
Despite eventually losing in overtime, Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell had a career night on Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves as he scored 23 points and took over down the stretch for Los Angeles to help force the extra period. With just under a minute remaining and the Lakers trailing 112-107, Russell hit a clutch 3-pointer in Ricky Rubio’s grill to bring his team within two.
Then, with 0.8 seconds left and Minnesota up 114-112, Angelo took Andrew Wiggins – a solid one-on-one defender – off the dribble and was somehow able to bank home a wild shot in the lane to send the game into overtime. However, he would go scoreless the rest of the way. He was one of six players for the Lakers in double-digit scoring, including Julius Randle, who had a monster double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds on better than 50 percent shooting. Kobe Bryant also chipped in 11 points, but was just 5-of-13 from the field.
For the T-Wolves, Kevin Martin exploded for 37 points on 14-of-27 shooting, including a blistering 6-of-9 from downtown. No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns added 26 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks on an efficient 11-of-19 from the floor, while Wiggins contributed 19 points for Minnesota, who moved to 9-12 for the season.
Next up, the Bryant farewell tour pulls into San Antonio as the Lakers face the Spurs on Friday night. Despite not being on the floor for Russell’s last-second shot in regulation, Kobe was eating it up on the sideline, as it was certainly reminiscent of a younger Black Mamba who used to sink daggers like that all the time.