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Russell Westbrook unhappy with Lakers effort at MSG: “We weren’t playing hard enough”

It was an all too familiar story for the Los Angeles Lakers, who found themselves 25 points behind in the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

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After coming back from 17 points against the Pistons in their previous game, the Lakers couldn’t repeat the trick, especially without suspended LeBron James and Anthony Davis struggling with illness.

Although they rallied to tie the game in the third quarter, Russell Westbrook, who recorded his fourth triple-double of the season, said their slow starts must change quickly.

“We weren’t playing hard enough, simple” Westbrook said after the game. “When we decided to play harder it made a significant difference.”

Westbrook was instrumental in the post-halftime response, scoring 18 of the team’s 31 points during the period, which saw the Lakers level the game.

MORE: Carmelo receives standing ovation at MSG

He finished with 31 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and two out of 10 of 18 steals from the field and 8 of 9 on the free throw line, but it wasn’t enough as the Knicks held on for the 106 . -100 victory to put the Lakers back below .500 on the season (9-10).

Davis, who was battling flu-like symptoms, only managed 20 points on 7 of 17 shots, while Anthony, returning to MSG for the first time as a Laker, went just 3 on 14 on the field for his 12 points as the Lakers lost their fourth game of their last five.

“We need to have better starts,” head coach Frank Vogel said after the game. “The last two games we’ve been playing uphill, and that makes it difficult.”

The Lakers have a quick turnaround tomorrow night as they continue their road trip to Indiana to face the Pacers, where they will be boosted by LeBron James’ return from his one-game suspension.

They will then return home to face the Sacramento Kings, ahead of a rematch against the Detroit Pistons, a game that is sure to have plenty of fireworks after their fiery encounter in Detroit earlier in the week that saw the big man of James and the Pistons Isaiah Stweart ejected and subsequently received suspensions.




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