Lakers duo D'Angelo Russell, Nick Young to play limited minutes

ByBaxter Holmes via ESPN logo
Monday, December 12, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- After missing 11 straight games with a sore left knee, Los Angeles Lakers point guard D'Angelo Russell returned to the starting lineup Sunday in his team's 118-112 loss to the New York Knicks.

Russell, who was on a minutes restriction, finished with three points on 1-of-8 shooting in about 17 minutes and said he "felt good" afterward. He added that he's trying to shake the rust off after being sidelined.

"I feel like I took the shots I usually take, made the passes I usually make," Russell said. "The turnovers were the turnovers I know I could do better at. It's just finding that rhythm."

Lakers starting guard Nick Young also returned after missing seven games with a strained calf. Young finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting in about 20 minutes.

"It felt good," Young said, "but I got a little winded, felt a little achy, body-wise, but I think I'll be all right."

Like Russell, Young also played on a minutes restriction, but Lakers coach Luke Walton said each player will play more in the coming days. The Lakers (10-16) have lost six straight and begin a seven-game road trip Monday in Sacramento.

"We knew they were on minutes restriction, but it was nice to get them both back on the court," Walton said. "I think D'Angelo missed some shots that he'll normally knock down for us. He was making a bunch of them [Saturday], but obviously game speed is a little different. Nick seemed to look pretty good out there."

Russell entered Sunday as the Lakers' second-leading scorer (16.1 points per game) and leader in assists (4.8 per game)

Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft out of Ohio State, had been sidelined since receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his left knee to help heal an issue that he said has been bothering him off and on since the season began.

Young entered Sunday averaging 13.3 points over 25 minutes. He has started in all 19 games that he has played this season.