D’Angelo Russell holds nothing back after 44-point explosion vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After lighting up the Milwaukee Bucks in the scoring column on Friday, Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell made an audacious declaration to the media.

The veteran was asked about overcoming trade rumors and remaining sure of himself through it all, and he explained that he isn’t the type to back down from anything.

In Friday’s game, Russell dropped a game-high 44 points to go along with six rebounds and nine assists while shooting 17-of-25 from the floor and 9-of-12 from 3-point range.

The 28-year-old’s brilliant scoring display led the Lakers to a one-point win over the Bucks in what was one of the team’s more impressive victories of the 2023-24 regular season to this point, particularly because veteran superstar LeBron James was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Russell has played some of his best basketball of the season in the month of March. Across four games, he is averaging 24.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per contest on 53.8 percent shooting from the field and an unbelievable 50.0 percent shooting from deep.

The guard’s 44-point game against the Bucks wasn’t his first gaudy scoring performance of the month. He also totaled 26 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field and 5-of-11 shooting from deep in the Lakers’ win over the Oklahoma City Thunder — who currently sit atop the Western Conference standings with a record of 44-19 — on March 4.

Russell has made a solid case as the Lakers’ third-best player this season, behind only James and Anthony Davis.

After all, he is averaging the third-most points per game on the team and second-most assists. James is the lone player on Los Angeles’ roster who is averaging more points and assists per contest in the 2023-24 regular season.

Plus, Russell leads all Lakers in 3-point shots made per game with 2.9.

After taking care of business against the Bucks, Russell and the Lakers will play another formidable opponent in the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night.

The Timberwolves have a lot to play for at this stage of the regular season, considering the team is gunning for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Minnesota is right behind the Thunder in the standings with a 44-20 record.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.