LOS ANGELES (AP) — D’Angelo Russell took no public pleasure in playing a pretty big role in officially eliminating the Los Angeles Lakers from playoff contention for yet another season.
Russell is much more excited about the increasing likelihood that he’s about to make his postseason debut with the Brooklyn Nets.
Joe Harris hit six 3-pointers while scoring 26 points, and Russell added 21 points and 13 assists against his former team in the Nets’ 111-106 win over the Lakers on Friday night.
Russell had seven points and three assists in the fourth quarter while Brooklyn held on to beat the Lakers, who drafted Russell in 2015 and traded him in 2017. He hit two big 3-pointers down the stretch, and he raised his finger to his lips to shush his former fans in the Staples Center crowd.
But Russell said it was nothing personal, and he didn’t think much about putting the final nail in the Lakers’ playoff hopes.
“Sounds good on paper, but at the end of the day, we’re not playing them,” Russell said. “We’re not competing against them for seeding, so the win is good enough.”
Los Angeles (31-41) will miss the playoffs for a franchise-record sixth straight season even with LeBron James, who fell just short of his 81st career triple-double with 25 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds.
“It’s been a tough season for all of us,” James said. “It’s not what we signed up for. Throughout the year, things happen. Suspensions, injuries, and us just not being able to pla