After D’Angelo Russell’s game-winning three-pointer to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Lakers have won four consecutive games for the first time since the 2012-13 NBA season. Since then, the team has missed the playoffs each season and has been collecting young talent as they continue their rebuild.
The Lakers will have a chance to select another prospect if they keep their top-three protected draft pick. Russell’s shot and resulting win may have prevented the chance of gaining more ping balls for the draft lottery, but the second-year guard had his focus elsewhere. During his on-court interview, Russell revealed his grandmother’s death earlier that morning and dedicated the game winner to her according to Ben Rohrbach of Ball Don’t Lie:
““I found out my granny was dead this morning, man,” Russell said in disbelief. “That’s tragic. That’s God’s hands, man. I can’t really control that. That’s God making that shot. That shot was for my granny, man. I wasn’t even going to play tonight. Honestly, man, that’s all God right there. …
“Honestly, that was all God. I can’t even talk right now.””
Emotions clearly took control of Russell, who nearly missed the game to head back home. However, after failing to catch a flight and some added thought from family members, Russell ended up playing.
Russell finished with 16 points, four rebounds, and four assists in 34 minutes. It was far from a great game statistically, but considering the situation, Russell had an eventful and impactful night.