1: 11 AM ET
Dave McMenaminESPN Team Author
- Lakers and NBA reporter for ESPN.
- Lined the Lakers and NBA for ESPNLosAngeles.com from 2009-14, the Cavaliers from 2014-18 for ESPN.com and the NBA for NBA.com from 2005-09.
NEW YORK — Russell Westbrook became as soon as trim in the 2nd half of of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 106-100 loss to the New York Knicks, scoring 25 of his game-high 31 facets after the ruin to lend a hand obtain his team wait on into a game correct thru which it trailed by as many as 25 facets in the main half of.
The thing is, L.A. had to claw wait on from that deficit in phase due to the Westbrook’s first-half of play. He had six facets on 1-for-5 shooting and 5 turnovers before the ruin.
“He excellent clicks,” Anthony Davis mentioned of Westbrook’s midgame adjustments. “I assemble no longer know if he sees a matchup he likes, or a persons’ talking to him on completely different team, or a fan. I am no longer particular. But no topic it is, we excellent want that your total game because it helps us.”
Westbrook obtained locked in all over the third quarter, scoring 18 facets on 7-for-10 shooting with three assists, two rebounds, two steals and excellent one turnover. The Lakers outscored the Knicks by 10 in the interval.
He played properly in the fourth, too, scoring seven facets on 2-for-3 shooting with three rebounds and two assists, but it became as soon as a determined list for the relaxation of the team. The Lakers shot 5-for-19 from the topic (2-for-11 from 3) and couldn’t total the comeback, with the Knicks edging them 23-19 in the fourth to withhold on for the purchase.
Avery Bradley (15 facets, 9 rebounds, 2 steals) mentioned the dead-game flameout came due to the the total vitality the team had to make roar of up digging out of its early hole.
“We luxuriate in been combating and scrapping to acquire wait on into the sport,” Bradley mentioned. “I possess admire if we assemble an even bigger job executing our game thought at the starting, we would no longer be in that site and we are going to be ready to design down the stretch.”
Westbrook performed with 31 facets, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his fourth triple-double of the season, but he also had six turnovers. He came into the sport averaging 4.9 turnovers, which became as soon as 2nd worst in the league, trailing easiest the Brooklyn Nets’ James Harden (5.0).
Westbrook took exception to a line of questioning about his turnovers after the sport.
“It’s funny you exhibit turnovers,” he mentioned. “I luxuriate in never heard you request from me that interrogate in about 5 video games. why?”
Indeed in the four video games before Tuesday night’s loss, Westbrook had 12 total turnovers. Within the four video games before that, he had a total of 27 turnovers.
“It’s funny,” Westbrook mentioned after feigning laughter. “You guys are funny, man. It’s excellent making easy reads. I had 5 [turnovers] in the main half of, I had one in the 2nd. So I know I made an adjustment and did a excellent job of deciding on my spots and being aggressive and taking a leer to rating moderately than leaping in the air and making passes.
“So, admire I mentioned, it be a easy fix for me. And I know as soon as I am making these errors and making these turnovers. I mean, the one I stepped out of bounds and I obtained one before the half of. So three of them are more or less admire, when you happen to might maybe presumably maybe very properly be genuinely watching the sport, you more or less might maybe presumably presumably be admire, ‘Successfully, OK, that’s completely different.’ Three of them I more or less threw away. So, I’m going to take these three. But completely different than that, I’m going to be ravishing.”
Davis believes that phase of Westbrook’s early woes came from Westbrook taking a leer to power feed teammates.
“Russ has to continue to assemble what he is doing no topic who’s on the floor. To be himself,” Davis mentioned. “I dispute him before every game: ‘Be nobody but yourself. For that reason we brought you right here.’ I judge a form of times, he tries to trip passive and to birth out up passing the basketball, attempting to search out completely different guys, which is mountainous, but more or less takes him out of a rhythm. And he can assemble the same for guys while being aggressive.”
Westbrook supplied a an identical overview.
“I believed I did no longer be trim aggressive in the main half of and tried to search out my reads,” he mentioned. “And in the third, we wished to luxuriate in a push offensively and tried to acquire suggestions to be aggressive.”
The loss dropped L.A. to 9-10. Westbrook can luxuriate in extra adjustments to acquire when the Lakers cease their 5-game twin carriageway outing in Indianapolis and LeBron James returns from his one-game suspension.
Westbrook and James luxuriate in played easiest eight video games collectively this season, with L.A. going 5-3, collectively with Sunday’s comeback in Detroit that became as soon as sparked by Westbrook after James became as soon as ejected.
“We’re finding suggestions where he is fundamentally chuffed and attempting to gash suggestions where he is been getting himself in grief,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “And I judge that’s all phase of the mix route of, that there might maybe be going to be some rising grief early. But we’re figuring it out and he is bringing mountainous aggressive spirit in the absence of ‘Bron after we’re shorthanded and in actuality willed us to the victory in Detroit and practically did the same tonight. We excellent fell short.”