His teammates were gone and D’Angelo Russell had just wrapped up a postgame television interview in the visiting locker room at the Pepsi Center. He picked up a folded-up sheet with the final box score from the Lakers’ 129-101 loss to the Denver Nuggets. He read the numbers, disappointed.
“Negative 32,” Russell said. “I led the team with the negative plus/minus. That bothers me a lot.”
As a whole, Monday night was difficult for Russell. It was the first time this season he was missing from the Lakers’ starting lineup despite being healthy. Jordan Clarkson started at point guard in his place, and neither player said he knew how long that would last.
Russell tried to...