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D'Angelo Russell's 44-point masterclass leads Lakers to victory over Bucks in absence of LeBron James

Posted : 09 March 2024

D'Angelo Russell showcased a stellar performance, scoring a season-high 44 points, with 21 coming in the fourth quarter, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to a thrilling 123-122 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.


Russell's impressive display included a go-ahead jumper with 5.9 seconds left, securing the win for the Lakers despite LeBron James' absence due to a sore left ankle. Spencer Dinwiddie's crucial block on Damian Lillard's shot preserved the victory for Los Angeles.


The Lakers, playing without James, found their offensive leader in Russell, who tied his career high with nine 3-pointers and contributed nine assists. Austin Reaves praised Russell's game-changing performance, stating, "D-Lo just stepped up and won us the game." Russell's ability to elevate his game in challenging situations was evident, as he confidently took control in the absence of James and Anthony Davis.


Russell downplayed his standout performance, attributing his resilience to the challenges he has faced in his NBA career, including trades and trade rumors. Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple-double with 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists for the Bucks, but Lillard's late efforts were not enough to secure the win. Despite Milwaukee taking the lead late in the game, Russell's clutch plays sealed the victory for the Lakers.


Anthony Davis contributed 22 points and 13 rebounds, but a left shoulder injury limited his impact in the fourth quarter. The Lakers, now 5-4 without James, continue to navigate a competitive Western Conference. Davis will be evaluated for his shoulder injury, while James missed his ninth game of the season due to ongoing ankle issues.


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