Brooklyn Nets' D'Angelo Russell Posts Back-to-Back 20-10 Games
Nets guard leads Brooklyn with 23 points, 10 assists in win at Memphis
MEMPHIS — D'Angelo Russell posted his second straight double-double in Friday night's 109-100 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, and it was in fact the first time in his career he had posted back-to-back games of at least 20 points and 10 assists.
He left an impression while he was at it.
"D'Angelo made some real elite passes out there tonight," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. "Defense would shift and the ball was, he hit Joe (Harris) in the opposite corner. I don't know how he saw it, and it was a laser. Those are the type of passes LeBron (James) makes -- crosscourt, on a line. It was impressive tonight."
Russell played a team-high 35 minutes in running the show throughout a game that was tight from almost start to finish. The Nets and Grizzlies traded runs in the second quarter and traded leads in the third before Russell's 3-pointer sent Brooklyn into the fourth quarter with a four-point advantage.
The Nets led throughout the fourth quarter, but Memphis was still within six with under four minutes to go when Russell lobbed an alley-oop to Joe Harris for a layup that started a 6-0 run that stretched Brooklyn's lead to 12 with under three minutes remaining.
That lob was Russell's 10th assist of the game, sealing his double-double with the accompanying 23 points. He knocked down three 3-pointers and made all six of his free throws on a night in which the Nets went 24-for-26 from the line, including Russell's pair that made it a 106-94 game with 2:51 to go.
The Memphis performance followed up a 22 and 13 game in Wednesday's win against New Orleans in which Russell matched his career high in assists for the second time in two weeks.
"He's making the game simple," said Harris. "He's making all the right reads, whether it's making the play for himself or for someone else. He's done an unbelievable job just facilitating and making the game so much easier for everybody out there."
Over Russell's last five games he's averaging 22.4 points with 7.4 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. The Nets are 4-1 in those games (Russell was rested in the loss at Milwaukee) as part of this stretch in which they've won 11 of 14.
For the season, Russell is averaging career highs of 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game, with career-high shooting of 35.4 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent from the free throw line.
"I feel like he's kind of found a groove," said DeMarre Carroll. "He's just got to keep playing, getting other guys involved. End of the game we're going to depend on him and Spencer (Dinwiddie) to close games like they did tonight. I think now he's really seeing the game as a bigger picture."