The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday night, but D'Angelo Russell left a great impression on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.
The Lakers released a transcript following Russell's career-high 40-point performance, and they quoted LeBron James as calling D'Angelo a "special player." It appears that quote was taken out of context, and LeBron never said anything of the like about the Lakers' sophomore guard.
The Lakers admitted to making the error after the game, reports Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times. LeBron was actually referring to his teammate Kyrie, who just dropped an even-hotter 46 points on LA to guide the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory.
It's a strange error, and one that rarely occurs. Russell and Lakers fans were riding high after he put up big numbers and received King James' blessing, but in the end it appears to be nothing more than fake news.
LA had to publicly correct the error after several outlets used their transcript as a source, which is generally how the process works. Team A releases information, Outlet B takes information and turns it into content. Everyone involved lost Sunday night because of this silly oversight.
Apparently losing 125-120 wasn't the only L the Lakers took against Cleveland.
Irving also gave a glowing response about going shot-for-shot with D'Angelo, and there have been no retracted statements regarding that just yet, so Russell still has that going for him.
D'Angelo also became the youngest player in Laker franchise history to score at least 40 points, doing it at the young age of 21 years and 24 days. He was locked in from three-point range, splashing seven of his 12 three-point attempts.
Here are the highlights from Russell's impressive performance, via the NBA's official YouTube account:
Russell had been going through a bit of a rut, being moved to the bench as head coach Luke Walton took a closer look at Jordan Clarkson starting at point guard. The two started together in the backcourt for the first time of the 2016-2017 season again the Cavaliers.
The results were promising to say the least. Russell notched 40 points, Clarkson added in 18 and the offense was locked in. They gave up 125 points, including 43 in the fourth quarter, and lost despite the great scoring performance.
The Lakers have had a down year and are headed to the NBA Draft lottery once again, but if D'Angelo can close out the year strong and the ping pong ball bounces their way, they could be well on their way out of the bottom of the Western Conference sooner than anticipated.