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D’Angelo Russell explains crafty approach to overtime-inducing three

D’Angelo Russell gave the Warriors a chance to win a game in which they seemed to lack any. The Warriors fell to a 18-point deficit to the New York Knicks at the end of the first half, playing abysmal defense.

But the defense improved in the second half on the back of Marqueese Chriss and Willie Caulie-Stein’s effort. Glenn Robinson III said Steve Kerr roused the team at half, and they knew that the Knicks, being as unaccustomed to winning as the Warriors, would give them an opportunity to get back into the contest.

With 7.7 seconds remaining and the Warriors down 112-109, Russell nailed a tricky corner three over the Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson, who is one of the NBA’s premier shot-blockers, and despite being a big man, he has a knack for blocking perimeter threes, especially from the corner. Despite Robinson’s presence, Russell caught the ball, faked and shimmied, never dribbling the ball, sending the game to overtime.

Russell, who had 32 points (12-of-27, 6-of-14), 6 assists and 3 rebounds in 23 minutes, discussed his approach to the shot after the game.

“Honestly, I feel like if I dribbled, I would be helping him guard me,” Russell said. “He’s lengthy, but I don’t know man, just trying to be as crafty as I can and get a shot up. Simple as that.”

The Warriors fell apart in overtime, with a meaningless Alec Burks buzzer-beating three closing the deficit to a 124-122 final. The defense was and has been an issue, something Russell, and the rest of the Warriors who spoke on Wednesday, said was a product of youth.

“Young team,” Russell said. “I think as a young team, you got to see these offensive movements throughout the season. I think you get better in time, so we have young mistakes, including myself. I think that’s what it is. The guys y’all have seen over the years, having a veteran team, those mistakes are limited. With a young team, that’s a lot of us first time playing with each other, that chemistry on defense is something we kind of get better at during the season.”

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