After the Clippers 115-110 win over the Suns on Sunday, Russell Westbrook has now had two of the greatest 3-19 shooting games of all time.
The last time Westbrook shot 3-19 from the field was in Game 4, Round 1 of the 2021 playoffs v the 76ers.
His stats included 19 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists and two steals and in Sunday’s emphatic win he totalled just nine points, but had 11 rebounds and eight assists and his defensive clinic on Phoenix star Kevin Durant had to be seen to be believed.
He also arguably made the best play of the contest with 10.1 seconds left when he blocked Devin Booker’s layup.
“This is the reason why Russell Westbrook was such a huge pickup for us,” His teammates Paul George told B/R after the game. “They just see Russ for the shots that he misses. They don’t see him for the rebounding, the defense. Look at the block on KD to start this series off and the block on D-Book to finish the game. They don’t see the intangibles, and they look past everything else that he does. They solely lock into whether he make or miss shots and judge him off of that. People don’t judge him off who he is as a basketball player.”
LAC coach Ty Lue was asked after the game if he thought about benching Westbrook due to his poor shooting and his response tells you all you need to know: “No. I wasn’t thinking about that. He was too good for us defensively tonight.”
Lue even told his point guard during the game to not be frustrated by his shooting.
‘You bring us way more than scoring the basketball,” Lue told Westbrook.
Westbrook had a bit of a tough run at the Lakers and was met with much criticism from fans and even his teammates. But it seems like he has now found a team where he is accepted and appreciated for who he is.
“Whatever is needed of me to win the game I’ll do it. I’m just grateful Ty Lue and the staff believe in me,” Westbrook said.
Game 2 of the Clippers playoffs series against the Suns will take place on Tuesday April 18 at 10:00PM ET at Footprint Center in Phoenix.