D’Angelo Russell answered the challenge Saturday night with a strong night from 3-point range and a season-high 10 assists.
Defensively, Russell was solid — it was the Clippers forwards who were the problem, not the guards — and he worked LA rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander over, as the kid picked up four first-half fouls and was a non-factor with four points and two assists on 2-of-9 shooting,
With the 10 assists, Russell had only one turnover and he has quietly been taking much better care of the basketball in recent weeks.
In the never-ending game of adjustments in the NBA, Joe Harris countered the opponents’ counter-moves by being much more aggressive taking the ball to the basket.
Harris had hit a bit of a rough patch with his 3-point shooting as recent opponents had devoted much more attention to the guy shooting nearly 60 percent from out there.
So Harris used those aggressive closeouts against the Clippers, blowing by to get to the rim for easy opportunities. That, in turn, opened up the space for him to his 2-of-3 from long range.