The Lakers (12-49) ended an eight-game losing streak, beating the Brooklyn Nets (17-44) on Tuesday night. Here are five takeaways from the Lakers’ 107-101 win over the Nets at Staples Center.
1. D’Angelo Russell was as hot as he’s been since joining the NBA in June as the Lakers’ second-overall pick in the draft.
Russell’s eight three-pointers is the most by a Lakers rookie in franchise history -- a record formerly held by Nick Van Exel with six.
His 39 points leads all rookies this season. Russell hit a career-high 14 field goals.
Russell was given the “podium” treatment after the game, making a visit to Coach Byron Scott’s interview room to talk to the media, instead of in front of his locker.
“I didn’t know [this room] existed. Now I know ... I have something to really play for,” said Russell after the game.
2. Lou Williams suffered what the Lakers called a “moderate hamstring strain (left),” in the second quarter. He’ll skip the Lakers trip to Denver on Wednesday, remaining in Los Angeles to have the injury examined.
It’s rare for a player to rush back from a hamstring strain. The type of injury suggests that Williams could be out a week -- or weeks.
That could mean more playing time for Nick Young and Marcelo Huertas, although should Kobe Bryant return as expected from resting his sore shoulder, the trio of Jordan Clarkson, Russell and Bryant could get the bulk of the minutes.
3. Former Lakers guard Wayne Ellington, now with the Nets, was impressed by Russell.
“He was making shots from all over the place,” Ellington said. “Obviously, he got comfortable, got in a rhythm and got going. He saw a big rim tonight. He was making shots from all over the place.”
Ellington also spoke of his time playing alongside Bryant.
“Watching the work he puts in, even now, 20 years into the league, he’s still coming in and putting in the work and watching film, learning guys and preparing,” he said.
What did he learn from Bryant?
“How to be more of a professional,” Ellington said.
4. Scott liked what he saw from his young backcourt. Clarkson also had a strong game with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
“They have always had pretty good chemistry,” Scott said. “They get along well. They want each other to do well -- which is a big part of it. Chemistry is not an issue with our team. Inexperience is an issue. We’re figuring out how to play with each other.”
5. The Lakers are still in last place in the West, better than just the Philadelphia 76ers (8-52).
The Lakers are 17.5 games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets (29-31).
Looking ahead to the 2016 NBA draft lottery, the Lakers would have a 55.8% chance of a top-three pick in next June’s draft. If the Lakers fall below third in the lottery, Philadelphia will get the team’s pick as part of the Steve Nash trade, via the Phoenix Suns.
If the Lakers climb a spot in the standings, their lottery odds for a top-three selection will dip to 46.9%. The closest teams ahead of the Lakers are the Suns (15-45) and Nets.