The Los Angeles Lakers played one of their better games of the season but it wasn’t enough in a 109-104 loss to the Charlotte Hornets. D’Angelo Russell kept it interesting in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, draining back-to-back threes to keep the Lakers in striking position. It never came to be, however.
It was a fantastic game from Russell, who looked as control as ever running the Lakers’ offense. He finished the night with 23 point and nine assists while draining five of his eight three-point attempts.
Julius Randle put together an even bigger statline, though, compiling 23 points, 18 rebounds and six assists.
Despite two of the Lakers’ core pieces having extraordinary games, they still managed to lose to Charlotte. That was in no small part because of a massive game from Frank Kaminsky, who dropped 24 points on the Lakers’ heads. No word yet on whether that was to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant.
Kemba Walker got his, as expected, piling on 30 points and seven assists. The Hornets leaned on him down the stretch to orchestra their offense, forcing mismatches while Walker handled the ball. It worked, and the Lakers lost.
The take away from this one is just how great the Lakers looked when Russell was pulling strings like puppet master in the third quarter. It was dunk after dunk, and LA looked great in stretches. It was a rare night the starting lineup showed up and delivered, but the a few tough stretches from their second unit slowed down their momentum.
Until next time: