Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has a message for Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell — watch them elbows.
Lillard and Russell got into a brief heated on-court exchange of words in the third quarter of Portland’s 108-97 victory over the Lakers on Tuesday. It was mainly a lot of posturing and gesturing and each player was assessed a technical foul for the incident.
Overcoming a poor shooting start, Lillard was in the midst of a 11-point run when the scuffle occurred. He finished the game with 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Meanwhile, Russell had a game to forget shooting-wise. He shot 4 of 14, missed all seven of his three-point attempts, went 1 of 4 from the free-throw line and finished with just nine points to go along with his eight rebounds and six assists.
After the game, Lillard sounded off about Russell and implied that the Lakers guard throws dirty elbows.
“Since last game, he’d been doing little slick elbows, and I play the game clean.” Lillard said. “I’m from Oakland. I ain’t with that extra stuff. Nobody can do just what they want to me. And I got called for a foul to start the third quarter for reaching in, but when I reached in, the only reason there was contact was because his elbow came up again.
“After he blocked my shot, I was walking to my spot, and I felt like he went out of his way to get that elbow in there again. And I told him, ‘That ain’t gonna fly.’ And I wasn’t interested in anything else that was said after that. We ain’t going to do it on the court so we’ll be in the back and whatever happens, happens. It was nothing. He poked the bear, and you see what happened after the game.”
The game did turn into a blowout so Lillard played just four minutes in the fourth but he did score seven more points before exiting. Russell clearly awoke “the bear” within Lillard as that exchange caused him to find his rhythm offensively. And with the two teams facing off against each other again on Jan. 25, we will see if Russell will heed Lillard’s advice going forward.
Source: General Sports