Wednesday night’s game against the Thunder was Russell Westbrook’s sixth regular-season game and the third at Oklahoma City since his trade in the 2019 offseason.
Despite going 3-2 as a visitor, his first game at Oklahoma City as a Laker was a forgettable outing not only for him but for the team, which was capped by his ejection.
With just 1.5 seconds on the clock, the former MVP expressed his displeasure after Darius Bazley completed a steal with a dunk to bow out the 123-115 victory. He was assessed a technique, which was his second of the game, which led to his expulsion.
When he was ejected, Westbrook had a triple-double under his belt with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists – his first as a Laker and the 185th of his career.
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In addition to those numbers, however, he was also responsible for 10 of the team’s 17 turnovers, helping them extend their unenviable quadruple-double record.
“I have to watch the tape,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said of Westbrook’s 10 turnovers after the game. Meanwhile, the former Thunder superstar kept it simple – “I have to take care of the ball.”
Westbrook posted an over-under-12 record in a game where the Lakers squandered a 26-point second-quarter lead against a young and inexperienced 0-4 Oklahoma City Thunder.
It’s a small sample size but over five games the Lakers have a net score of 9.3 points per 100 possessions with Westbrook on the ground while on the bench, the net score jumps to +12.7 points per 100 possessions. That’s a 21 point differential!
Despite the jarring numbers, Vogel always knew it was going to happen as he cited after the team’s opening loss that Westbrook would find it the hardest and longest to adjust to his new teammates.
So maybe everyone knew that difficult time was coming, but it would be hard to forget this game especially since it happened on his old playing field.