D’Angelo Russell’s injury overshadows Lakers’ 108-96 win over Pacers

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Normally, their presence sparks cheers as D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young make dramatic shots.Russell usually reacts by pointing to the apparent ice in his veins, while Young holds out three fingers. But this time, Russell and Young elicited collective gasps as they winced in pain.Injuries to Russell and Young overshadowed everything else in the Lakers’ 108-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday at Staples Center, even if the result snapped a five-game losing streak.One injury remains uncertain. The Lakers diagnosed Russell with both a mild MCL sprain in his right knee and strained right calf. He did return after playing for just over a minute, and is scheduled to have an MRI on Saturday. The other injury does not seem as serious. Young hyperextended his left knee midway through the second quarter after the knee appeared to lock up as he drove toward the free throw line. Young eventually stood up to the ground and limped toward the locker room. But after x-rays came back negative, Young returned for the second half and made a handful of shots.The Lakers mostly depended on Lou Williams (27 points), Brandon Ingram (15 points, seven rebounds), Julius Randle (16 points) and Jordan Clarkson (12 points). But while posting 15 points on 5-of-13 shooting, Young was still part of the Lakers’ lineup that opened the second half with a 18-6 run. Young also threw a rare assist before playing air guitar. Young also made a 3-pointer that gave the Lakers an 86-75 lead entering the fourth quarter. The Lakers held onto the lead from there.The vibe surrounding Russell did not seem as positive.Video replays showed that Russell lost balance after accidentally running into Randle’s left foot as the pair ran a pick-and-roll play. Russell then fell awkwardly on his right knee.After remaining down on the court for several moments, Russell stood up on his own and walked to the Lakers’ training room with 10:48 left in the first quarter. Lakers veteran guard Jose Calderon played in Russell’s place after he went to the trainer’s room. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Russell, who missed 13 games this season because of soreness to his left knee, had a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat his left knee in late November. Considering his talent level as the Lakers’ No. 2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Russell’s absence contributed toward the Lakers struggling with consistency after a 10-10 start to open the 2016-17 season.Russell has averaged 14.8 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 39.6 percent from the field in 27 minutes per game this season. Though he reported shaking off rustiness from his absence earlier this month, Russell has struggled in the past week. He has averaged 7.8 points and 2.8 assists while shooting 34.8 percent from the field in 19.8 minutes over the past five games, while also sitting out the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s loss to Denver.Just like then, the Lakers played without relying on Russell. This time, however, the Lakers managed just fine.last_img

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