Ever since Lakers coach Byron Scott anointed rookie D’Angelo Russell the starter at point guard for the remainder of the season on Feb. 21, the Ohio State product has looked rejuvenated. After months of coming off the bench and searching for a consistent position in the rotation, Russell has begun shooting with confidence, looking after the basketball as if it were his child.
The 20-year-old’s scorching play culminated with a career-high 39-point point performance in a 107–101 win over the Nets on Tuesday night, in which he hit eight three-pointers in 12 tries. Russell went 14-for-21 from the field and followed up two consecutive 22-point outings in grand fashion.
His eight made threes were the most made by a rookie in a single game since Reggie Williams accomplished the feat in 2010, and his 39 points are the most by a rookie in a single game since Kyrie Irving’s in December of 2012.
Perhaps the most impressive weapon that the rookie showcased was his vast arsenal of celebrations. Russell’s night was capped with a triumphant gesture after a three over Nets forward Thaddeus Young to give Los Angeles a 103–97 lead. He pointed toward the veins on his left arm, letting the crowd know they were filled with ice.
Russell will aim to continue his hot streak on Wednesday night in Denver at 9 p.m. ET.