D'Angelo Russell was disappointed about being taken out of the starting lineup but he found more freedom playing without Kobe Bryant.
“You’ve got to be more aggressive," Russell said about being with the second unit.
“There’s just more ball movement,” said Russell. “No disrespect to Kobe, but you just know you have more opportunity because he’s who he is.”
Russell had nine points, three rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes.
Byron Scott admitted that Russell and Julius Randle not playing alongside Bryant meant they didn’t “defer as much” to Bryant, a volume shooter.
“When KB is out there, they seem to defer a little bit more to him,” Scott said. “I thought tonight they played a little bit more free. They still made mistakes, but they’re going to make mistakes. They’re young. But I want them to continue to play as hard as they played tonight.”