Lakers News: D’Angelo Russell, Luke Walton Comment on Season-Opening Win

The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a bit of a shocker Wednesday night, pouring in the points on their way to a 120-114 win over the Houston Rockets.

The Lakers survived an offensive explosion from James Harden, who looked like an MVP candidate with 34 points, 17 assists and eight rebounds. Their effort was led by Jordan Clarkson's 25 points off the bench and a 20-point effort from D'Angelo Russell.

“That’s just one (game),” Clarkson said. “We’ve got to keep it going. We want to go on a streak. We want to win more games. That’s what we’re going on this road trip to do.”

Russell looked comfortable in his skin for perhaps the first time under new coach Luke Walton. He knocked down four of his 10 three-point attempts, was one of two Lakers starters to get to the free-throw line—the other being Julius Randle—and looked unburdened, something you could rarely say during a tumultuous rookie season.

Speaking to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Russell admitted it's nice to get out of the shadow of last season:

I’ll tell you what it felt like: It felt like a home game. Last year, we had Kobe and the fans. We had some diehard Lakers fans, and Kobe fans. But we had so many guys who didn’t have identities for the fans to recognize. But today, it felt like a home game.

You go to Utah, or Houston—and they’re rooting for their team. Here, this is the home of the NBA. People come to the see the show, too. Don’t get me wrong: They’re all Lakers fans. They’re incredible, but they want to see the show, too.

The 2015-16 Lakers often resembled a sideshow more than a basketball team. Kobe Bryant's farewell tour enveloped the entire organization, including the coaching staff. Former head coach Byron Scott ceded at Bryant's every wish and seemed to have an odd disdain for the young Russell, giv...

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