NBA: D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle stepped up in Lakers win over Nets

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Mar 30, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell (1) at press conference related to forward Nick Young (0) at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Jeremy Lin-less Brooklyn Nets, 125-118, and giving them their second loss at the Staples Center on Tuesday night. D’Angelo Russell led the purple and gold with 32 points and eight rebounds while Julius Randle notched a triple-double, 17 points, 14 rebound, and 10 assists.

Russell started the game on fire, scoring 17 points in the first quarter. The sophomore guard knocked down three consecutive three-pointers to gain an early advantage against the Nets, who played without Jeremy Lin. Tarik Black made his presence felt on the court by dominating under the basket to create second-chance opportunities for his team.

The Nets 10-0 run in the final minutes of the first quarter gave them a two-point lead. In the second quarter, the Nets capitalized on the opponents’ poor passes and turnovers. Jordan Clarkson helped his team to bounce back with a three-pointer and a nice crossover. The Lakers’ defense was shaky and lacked protection on the rim, resulting for Nets big men Bojan Bogdanovic and Brook Lopez to take advantage.

However, they still managed to answer on the offensive end, giving the Nets a five-point deficit to end the first half. Coach Luke Walton used his starters in the third quarter. Luol Deng was noticeably struggling in the game, especially on the offensive end. Mozgov and Randle stepped up for the Lakers but Bogdanovic and Lopez didn’t let them stretch the gap.

The Nets kept their hopes up in the final quarter and tried to steal the lead from the Lakers. In the final minutes, the Nets tried to play a foul game but the Lakers managed to hit most of the free throws, leading them to earn their 7th victory of the season, 125-118.

Despite winning the game, Walton seemed to be unimpressed with his team’s performance.

“I didn’t feel like we got in a great flow tonight,” Coach Luke Walton said. “Obviously, we’ll take a win and Brooklyn’s a great team. They never stop coming at you. But it didn’t feel like the way we’ve been playing as far as sharing the ball and having fun and making the extra pass. Just felt a little off tonight.”

The Los Angeles Lakers will host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday while the Brooklyn Nets are set to face the Oklahoma City Thunder also on Friday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Video courtesy: Youtube/Ximo Pierto

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