D’Angelo Russell leads Lakers’ first victory in Phoenix since 2011; LA fans worried with their 2017 first-round pick

PHOTOGRAPH: Keith Allison/Flickr | D’Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers finally snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 122-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night. D’Angelo Russell led the Lakers with 28 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals on 50 percent shooting from the field and 66.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Their recent victory marked the Lakers’ first win in Phoenix since January 5, 2011. They had lost 11 straight road games against the Suns, including the 137-101 blowout loss before the All-Star break. Devin Booker, who scored team-high 23 points, believes that the Lakers succeeded to avenge their recent loss.

“I think the Lakers felt like they had something to prove after the last game we played,” the Suns’ Devin Booker said. “They came out and showed that. We didn’t have any fight tonight.”

The Lakers started their aggressiveness in the second half and led by as many as 21 points. However, the Suns answered with a 15-1 run and cut the lead down to seven. With more than 30 seconds left in the game, D’Angelo Russell knocked down a three-pointer that helped them seal the victory.

“He did amazing running the show, getting everybody involved and attacking and scoring when we needed it,” Lakers forward Julius Randle said. The Lakers young core undeniably showed good performance against the Suns. Aside from D’Angelo Russell, Randle, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac also scored in double figures.

Fans disappointed with Lakers’ recent victory?

Despite the Lakers’ impressive performance, some fans expressed their emotions with the recent victory. According to Tania Ganguli of Los Angeles Times, Lakers’ fans are concerned that the team may end up losing their 2017 first-round pick.

“I’m fine with winning this game so long as we lose the rest of them,” said Jonathan Ajimine, a 29-year-old from Anaheim.”The season is a failure if we don’t keep our pick.”

The Lakers need to secure a top-3 pick if they don’t want to lose their 2017 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. They currently have the second worst NBA record with a 20-45 win-loss record. Coach Luke Walton, who strongly disagreed with the idea of tanking, insisted that he will just do his job to make his players better.

“That’s going to play itself out in the end. No matter what happens, it’s still going to come down to the luck of the balls type of thing,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said. “My job is to coach these guys to get better. We’re going to continue to do that and try to win every time we play.”

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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