HONOLULU — Adversity struck Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell, and the incident did not involve a poor shooting performance or making a mistake.
Russell went to the locker room with 7:42 left in the first quarter of the Lakers’ preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at Stan Sheriff Center after suffering a bruised glute. Russell took a hard fall after defending Utah center Rudy Gobert as he drove to the basket. Nothing intentional appeared at play. But the sheer power from the 7-1, 245-pound Gobert sent the 6-5, 195-pound Russell to the ground. The Lakers soon hovered around Russell and helped him to the locker room. He did not play the rest of the game.
The Lakers initially ruled that Russell could return. Though they believe Russell remained healthy enough to play in a regular-season game, the Lakers exercised caution considering it was a preseason game.
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