LeBron James gives a shoutout to D’Angelo Russell for his huge game

LeBron James left the Los Angeles Lakers’ game on Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings early because his hurt ankle was acting up. He has been dealing with that bad ankle for the better part of this season, and it kept him out of action on Friday versus the Milwaukee Bucks.

Some may have dismissed the Lakers’ chances on Friday against Giannis Antetokounmpo and crew. But instead, they served up a 123-122 upset and improved to 35-30 on the season.

The leading man on Friday was guard D’Angelo Russell, who went into volcano mode and threw in 44 points while hitting nine 3-pointers, which tied a career-high for him. James gave Russell some love on social media following the win.

Russell overcame some incessant trade rumors to start playing outstanding basketball in mid-January, and he hasn’t really fallen back to earth since. For the year, he’s averaging 18.1 points and 6.2 assists a game while shooting 47.2% from the field and 42.4% from downtown.

The Lakers will face another stiff test on Sunday when they play the Minnesota Timberwolves. While Karl-Anthony Towns won’t be playing for Minnesota, L.A. will need another inspired performance, even if James is well enough to play.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire