LA Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook reflects on the must-win game against the Orlando Magic, putting the team before himself.
The Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic 116-105 in a must-win game. LeBron James and co were back at the +500 mark. Nonetheless, all eyes were on Russell Westbrook during the game, considering the controversial call by coach Frank Vogel of benching him in the final minutes against the Pacers.
Brodie scored an 18-point double-double and was 8-for-17 from the field against the Magic. The Lakers looked played like a unit despite trailing at the end of the first half. The purple and gold team would make a solid comeback in the third quarter with a 20-2 run to start.
Carmelo Anthony posted 23-points in 17 minutes and was an incredible 8-for-13 from the field. The former scoring champion synced four shots from beyond the arc. James was his usual self, leading the Lakers in scoring with 29-points on 52.2% shooting from the field.
Also read: “If Phil Jackson had put Michael Jordan back in earlier, we would have lost the game!!”: Scottie Pippen talked about MJ’s benching in the final quarter of ’92 Finals as Bulls trailed by 15 points
Ending their 3-game losing streak, Westbrook would address the must-win game and the controversial call of Vogel benching him.
Russell Westbrook talks winning and the scrutiny surrounding him.
There has been a lot of heat on Brodie ever since he joined the Lakers, his hometown. The two-time scoring champion hasn’t been able to find his groove with the team yet. The nine-time All-Star has been amongst the top in leading the league in turnovers.
Westbrook was recently benched by head coach Vogel in the final minutes against the Pacers for his lackluster performance. Brodie revealed he was disappointed with the call but had a team-first approach.
Post winning the game against the Magic, he would have a candid conversation with NBA TV. Below are some excerpts from the conversation.
“It’s a win we needed to win,” said the 33-year old. “We know, when people are playing the LA Lakers, they are gonna give us their best shot. Tonight, I think we did a good job of sticking to our principles the way we’re supposed to, getting the win the way we are supposed to.”
When asked about what conversation did he have with coach Vogel after being benched, Westbrook said the following.
“Honestly, no conversation since I’ve been here. Since day one my objective is always team first, finding ways to win, coming to a new system, team, and organization. I’m a guy who likes to adjust and try to make my teammates better around me. I’m big on faith been able to do the things I’ve been doing for so many years and no.2, I try to get back to basics. Finding ways to be the best Russ I can be for the Lakers, that’s the goal for me.”
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 22, 2022
An all-time leader in triple-doubles, Westbrook certainly deserves more respect on his name, having achieved more than 90% of the players in the league.