D'Angelo Russell follows awful Lakers stinker with even worse antics

D’Angelo Russell had some inexcusable antics in the Lakers Game 3 loss to the Nuggets.
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell
Los Angeles Lakers, D'Angelo Russell / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers went down 3-0 after losing to the Nuggets 112-105 on Thursday night. They gave fans hope in Game 2 and were returning home, but the defending champions again dominated the second half for another win. Denver has won 11 straight against the Lakers and will go for a second straight playoff sweep on Saturday.

LA struggled to hit shots on their home floor. It should be no surprise. The Lakers were 24th in 3-pointers made this season, but they made just five of 27 in Game 3.

The biggest dud of the night went to D’Angelo Russell. He was a crucial piece for the Lakers all season but had arguably his worst game on the season when the Lakers needed it most. The starting guard made things worse from there with his antics.

D’Angelo Russell cannot make shots as Lakers drop Game 3

Russell had a stinker in Game 1 as he was six of 20 from the field and made just one of his nine 3-point tries. There was talk of benching him, but Darvin Ham stuck with his starting guard. D-Lo bounced back for 23 points, six dimes, and seven 3-pointers made in Game 2 as LA narrowly dropped the contest. There was more hope, but Russell again struggled.

He failed to score in Game 3. Russell missed all six of his 3-point attempts and his only 2-pointer. He did have three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block, but the Lakers needed him sinking shots if they had any hope of defeating the defending champions. Fans were booing and he was eventually benched after just 24 minutes on the floor. Sadly, things got worse from there.

D’Angelo Russell refuses to take part in Lakers huddle

D-Lo was not part of his team’s huddle during the biggest game of the season. He opted to sit to the side, which fans can see here.

Not a great look for one of the Lakers' most important players. Darvin Ham went with Spencer Dinwiddie for the final 3:47 on Game 3, who before Thursday night had not scored a point in this series. That is how bad D’Angelo Russell was in this decisive game, and his antics were even worse.

Does Darvin Ham start Russell in Saturday’s Game 4? He remains a key piece for LA, but history suggests he will struggle against the Nuggets. D-Lo had issues in the 2023 Western Conference Finals and is shooting just 32.6 percent from the field so far in this series.

Can the Los Angeles Lakers keep their season alive with a win in Game 4 at Crypto.com Arena? That is likely all fans have left to hope for. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in an NBA playoff series. For LeBron James and company to be the first, they must start it with a win. Fans should not hold their breath, especially after the first three games. It will take a big night from D'Angelo Russell, which just feels impossible after Game 3.