On Friday night at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers finally won a game, though it was not nearly as straight forward as the 108-96 final score read.
Just over a minute into the game, starting point guard D'Angelo Russell stepped on power forward Julius Randle's foot and collapsed into a heap. Extremely slow to get up, Russell eventually found his way back to the locker room and did no reemerge. The team announced that the 20-year-old had suffered a mild MCL strain in his right knee and also had a strained right calf.
Russell is scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday to determine the full extent of the injury.
Later in the first half, Russell's starting back court mate, Nick Young, hobbled off the court and also fell down in despair. The 31-year-old shooting guard limped off and was diagnosed with a hyper-extended left knee, but a halftime reevaluation cleared Young to return. Young came back in and played a stellar second half.
While neither team led by more than five points in the first half and LA trailed by two points at the halftime intermission, the second half offered an entirely different narrative. Led by rookie Brandon Ingram scoring 10 points in the third quarter, the Lakers tasted a 12-point lead and carried an 11-point advantage into the fourth quarter.
There, Lou Williams took over the ball game and helped LA jump out to a 20-point advantage. Williams led all scorers with 27 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
Notes: Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. was cleared for a full practice on Saturday and expects to return on Sunday, on a minutes restriction.