D'Angelo Russell Excels in Return, Leads Los Angeles Lakers Over Toronto Raptors

The Los Angeles Lakers outdueled the Toronto Raptors 122-112 on Friday night, and a returning D'Angelo Russell was their top player. The trade-deadline acquisition totalled a team-high 28 points, along with five rebounds, nine assists, and one steal.

It was Russell's first game back from a six-game absence due to an ankle injury and only his fifth game with the Lakers since rejoining the team in February. He hit 10 of his 17 field goal attempts, including five of eight from three. It was a much-needed star performance; Anthony Davis compiled a mere eight points in nearly 33 minutes and LeBron James remains out with a foot injury.

The win moves the Lakers to 33-34 and ninth in the Western Conference. They've done well to survive a six-game absence from James, winning four of six. They've been plagued by injuries to their stars for much of this season; James has missed 20 games so far, and Davis 25. If the pair can get healthy and Russell can continue to make the most of his opportunities, the Lakers will be a feared team in the postseason, but those are no guarantees.

The Lakers return to action Sunday against the New York Knicks.

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