Russell Westbrook: “I earned the right to be in closing lineups”

Photo: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel decided to close a game without Russell Westbrook on the floor for the third time this season.

The 33-year-old superstar was on the bench as his team attempted to erase a 30-point deficit against the Bucks. During the 26 minutes that Russ played he scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished 5 assists.

He had a poor shooting night, making just 3/11 shots. After the game he was asked by the media if he is aware of a certain benchmark that he has to reach in order to play the final minutes of games.

“I don’t have an answer to that, brother. I wish I did,” Westbrook said. “I shouldn’t have to hit any benchmarks, to be honest. I put a lot of work in. I got a lot of respect in this game.

“I don’t have to hit a benchmark. I earned the right to be in closing lineups. Numbers would say, I don’t have to explain it.

“Once again, like I said, it ain’t my decision. That’s the decision that [Frank Vogel] … the staff thinks that’s best for the game …

“I just got to go with it and figure it out best way I can and be there for my teammates as much as I can and make sure I come in to work and do my job as a professional.”

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