Lakers Legends Take Strong Shots at Russell Westbrook After Loss to Kings

Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook

Two Los Angeles Lakers legends took strong shots at Russell Westbrook following the team’s loss to the Sacramento Kings on November 11.

James Worthy and Robert Horry, who do postgame coverage for the Lakers on Spectrum SportsNet, called out Westbrook for doing his “Rock-A-Baby” celebration. In the first half, Westbrook picked up a technical foul with 36.4 seconds left after scoring on Kings forward Kevin Huerter and taunting him.

The Lakers dropped to 2-10 after losing to the Kings. They are tied with the Houston Rockets for the worst record in the NBA. Westbrook finished with 21 points, four rebounds, 11 assists and five turnovers versus Sacramento while shooting 6-of-17 from the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. The 2016-17 MVP had a plus-minus of -13.

Westbrook has appeared in 11 games this season. The nine-time All-Star is averaging 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.7 assists while shooting 42.7% overall, 36.2% from 3-point range and 80.4% from the free-throw line. As he was last season, Westbrook has been a turnover machine in 2022-23. He was second in the NBA in turnovers last year and is averaging 3.7 this season.

Horry: Stop with the Turnovers Russ

During halftime of the Lakers-Kings game, Horry said, “Stop with the turnovers, Russ.” Westbrook had four turnovers at halftime, including a few crucial ones near the end of the second quarter.

When asked directly by reporters about Westbrook’s execution to close both halves against the Kings, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham defended his star point guard’s play and said he wouldn’t have pulled Westbrook out if he could’ve redone things.

“I thought there were some unfortunate plays that he would normally make,” Ham said. “But if I had to do it all over again, I would put him in the same situations. I thought he was huge for us tonight. Provided a huge boost at the 3-point line. Overall, with his point total. And there were times he pushed the pace. There were times he really put pressure on the paint. Found some guys for easy looks. But it’s tough. I’ve got certain things that stick out in my mind, but without going over the film, I can’t really get into detail. But I will say this, again, if I had to do it all over again, he’d be in the game, for sure — and in those situations.”

Westbrook Was Bad to End Both Halves

Westbrook didn’t play well at the end of the second quarter or at the end of the game. Jovan Buha of The Athletic went into detail about the UCLA product’s poor play to end both halves.

“In the first half, he picked up a technical foul with 36.4 seconds left after scoring on Kevin Huerter and taunting him. That turned into a 3-point possession for the Kings. On the next Lakers possession, Fox stripped Westbrook’s dribble as he tried to beat him past a Davis screen. Two more points for the Kings,” Buha wrote. “Westbrook then lobbed an alley-oop to Davis through a thicket of Kings arms with roughly six seconds remaining in the half. Turnover. He then committed a transition take foul, which gave the Kings a free throw and the ball. Fox drilled a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, making it a four-point Sacramento possession. In 36.4 seconds, the Kings went from down 12 to down four, entirely because of Westbrook’s miscues.

“The final two minutes of the game were a near-repeat. Westbrook, out of position defensively earlier in the possession, eventually recovered and fouled Harrison Barnes on a drive. On the next possession, Westbrook drove with Sabonis defending him, flicking up an out-of-control contested jumper that clanged off the backboard. The next possession was arguably the worst of the game. Westbrook, defending Fox, miscommunicates with Reaves, pausing for some reason as Fox starts driving, and allows Fox to waltz into an uncontested runner in the paint. This was the go-ahead bucket that put Sacramento ahead for good.”

Westbrook didn’t speak with the media after the game. The Lakers’ next contest is on November 13 against Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets at Arena.

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