D’Angelo Russell, the Los Angeles Lakers’ delightfully cocky rookie point guard, erupted for a career-high 39 points Tuesday night in a 107-101 win against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.
D'Angelo Russell's 39 points tied for fourth most by Lakers rookie, most since team moved to LA in 1960.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) March 2, 2016
Russell’s heroics helped the Lakers snap an eight-game losing streak.
Jordan Clarkson added 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Lakers, while Julius Randle notched a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Per the OC Register:
(Byron) Scott promised the eager 20-year-old would eventually have the chance to close out games. But following the Lakers’ last game he questioned whether Russell was ready to be a leader. […] All of that felt hopelessly outdated Tuesday night when, with 30.8 seconds remaining to hold off the Brooklyn Nets in a 107-101 win, Russell buried his career-high eighth 3-pointer and pointed to his left forearm, his shooting arm, and yelled, “Ice in my veins.”
“To be honest,” Russell said, “I was running out of celebrations.” […] Russell’s 39 points were the most by a Lakers rookie since Elgin Baylor scored 55 in 1959.
He received the sort of treatment usually reserved for (Kobe) Bryant. His postgame news conference was held on a podium in an interview room, instead of at his locker. […] “I’ve never been up here,” he said. “I didn’t know this existed.”