On the day his grandmother passed away, a heavy-hearted D’Angelo Russell steeled himself and dramatically bounced in a game-winner for the Los Angeles Lakers at the buzzer Sunday night.
Russell’s heroics erased monster performances by both Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins, and turned back the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-109.
The 21-year-old says that were it not for a missed flight to his hometown, he wasn’t even supposed to suit up.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2017
Per the LA Daily News:
Russell quickly broke free of his teammates’ hugs so he could find family members, in the stands. Shortly after, Russell hugged one of his brothers, Antonio, and shed some tears over the recent passing of their grandmother.
“It’s just God, honestly,” said Russell, who finished with 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting, four assists and four rebounds. “I just wanted to win. For me to win the game with a game-winning shot, that’s God putting a cherry on top. A win would have been good enough.”
“She was a strong woman. She did a great job raising my dad,” Russell said of his grandmother. “To piggy back that, my dad did a great job raising his sons and kids in general and being a good father. That’s’ what she was put on this Earth for.”