April 9, 2017
D’Angelo Russell hit a game-winning 3-point basket at the buzzer, and the Lakers defeated the Timberwolves 110-109 on Sunday night at Staples Center. It was the 4th straight win for the Lake Show.
Russell revealed that he was playing the game with a very heavy heart, after his grandmother, Pamela Russell, had passed away early Sunday morning. Russell even considered sitting out of Sunday night’s game, but elected to play in honor of his grandmother.
“She was a strong woman,” Russell said. “She did a great job raising my dad. Piggybacking off that my dad did a great job raising his sons and his kids in general. Being a great father. That’s what she was put on this Earth for.”
Russell had 16 points on the night, while Tyler Ennis led the way for the Lakers with 20 points. The T-Wolves got 41 points from Andrew Wiggins, and 40 points from Karl-Anthony Towns. It was the first time in T-Wolves franchise history that two players had reached the 40-point mark in the same game.
The Lakers got off to a nice start, but led by only two points at halftime. They trailed by a basket heading into the 4th quarter. That’s when Metta World Peace entered the game.
He played 11 minutes, scoring 8 points, and kept the Lakers in the game. The Lakers trailed by 4 points with 33.8 seconds left. Randle cut the lead to two points, and the Wolves missed an opportunity put the game away on the ensuing possession.
In the final moments, Russell passed the ball to World Peace, who launched a 3-pointer that missed. However, Randle grabbed the rebound, and found Russell for the game-winning shot, which bounced out before bouncing back into the hoop as time expired.
“That’s just God, honestly,” Russell said. “… For me to win the game with a game-winning shot, that’s just God putting the cherry on top. A win would’ve been good enough.”
The win was a missed opportunity for the Lakers to improve their lottery odds though. The Suns defeated the Mavericks, which means they are still 1.5 games worse than the Lakers, with two games remaining for both teams.
The Lakers will take on the Pelicans on Tuesday night at Staples, before closing out the season on Wednesday at Golden State. The Suns final game will be on Tuesday evening at Sacramento.