The Lakers have won four straight, hurting their chances at a protected lottery pick. But sometimes, winning means more.
That was certainly the case for D'Angelo Russell on Sunday night when he hit a game-winning 3-pointer the same day after the unexpected death of his grandmother.
"I just wanted to win," Russell said after beating the Timberwolves. "Win the game, and winning shot, it's just God putting the cherry on top. The win would have been good enough."
The young guard was close to not playing Sunday night and instead almost chose to travel back home to Louisville. After thinking about for a while, Russell decided it was better for him to stay in Los Angeles.
“Honestly, I knew that’s what my grandma would have wanted,” he said. “My dad, my brothers — everybody wanted me to play. I wanted to get away from basketball."
His brothers attended the game, and Russell ran to them in the stands after hitting the shot for anemotional embrace.
D'Angelo embraces his family after the game-winner, made even more emotional after learning about the passing of his grandma this morning. pic.twitter.com/MfMbUtk5WS— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2017
"You could tell he was hurting," coach Luke Walton said. "I could tell it was painful for him, and it wasn't easy to talk about, but you could see how much love he had for her when he was speaking about it, which was kind of awesome to see."