D’Angelo Russell and hot-shooting bench inspire Lakers to rebound on Raptors

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Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell passes during the first half of the Lakers’ 122-112 comeback win over the Toronto Raptors at Crypto.com Arena on Friday night. Russell finished with 28 points in his return from injury. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Quiet and fast, all at once.

How D’Angelo Russell moves with the basketball in his hands, navigating defensively with poise before darting to the spot he wants to go.

It’s confusing pace, things are happening faster than you expect.

That’s how things played out in Russell’s return – quick, devastating bounces that quickly took the game in different direction.

Russell was in the midst of big scoring run, hitting transition threes and getting an assist as the game went wildly in the Lakers’ favor in the second and fourth quarters.

He made five threes and scored 28 points to lead the Lakers to 122–112 victory in a game in which they trailed by at least 12 in each half.

Five Lakers scored in double digits, with the team fueled by 32 points from Scotty Barnes and 31 points from Ozzie Anunobi.

Davis took just seven shots and scored only eight points, nailing jumper with 46.6 seconds left to seal the Lakers’ third-straight win.

Lakers guard Austin Reeves, top center, drives to the basket in the first half against the Toronto Raptors.

Lakers guard Austin Reeves, top center, drives to the basket in the first half against the Toronto Raptors. Reeves finished with 18 points. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

The Lakers made all 19 of their free throws, but it was the return of Russell that got them excited.

“His size, his skill, his mind,” replied Lakers coach Darwin Hamm when asked what Russell brings to the floor. “I think he’s really talented, smart basketball player and you have to account for that. He’s also a smart defensive player, so he’s just another extra piece that we’re really excited about, and people should know about it.” Got a taste of what he brings early. Good timing with LeBron’s circumstances recovering from injury. But we’re looking forward to that great addition and hoping he’ll be a little bit of a spark plug for us.

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With the Lakers quickly falling behind by 15 with slow start, Russell led the Lakers on a 21–5 run in the second quarter, showing why the team valued him at the trade deadline.

His return also enthused Dennis Schroder, who moved to the bench and was able to deliver when less was asked, another playmaker and ball-handler back on the floor.

Without Russell, Schroder’s offense took serious hit, with the wear and tear of running the offense clearly taking him down. But on Friday, he played with speed and bursts, something Ham said in the pregame that he had expected to see.

“It’s tough when you’re the only traditional point guard in the lineup,” Ham said. “(Russell) being able to come out and see Dennis make that early wave and automatically know when he checks into the game is what we need to do, what needs to be fixed or what needs to be retained. . sets.

Schroder was the fastest thrower of the ball, scoring 23 runs and making four steals.

And the Lakers’ offense remained neutral against Toronto’s size and strength in the third, with Austin Reeves keeping them close enough. He ignited the crowd later in the half, passing through the middle of the court for a two-handed slam. He finished with 18 points.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times,