Russell Westbrook’s ejection crowns Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to Oklahoma City Thunder after dropping 26 points – .

Russell Westbrook’s ejection crowns Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to Oklahoma City Thunder after dropping 26 points – .

OKLAHOMA CITY – Russell Westbrook said: ‘It’s my fault, it’s mine,’ when asked about his double-digit turnovers in the Lakers’ 123-115 loss to the Thunder Wednesday. But he maintained his actions which led to him being ejected in the final seconds, marking his return to OKC.
“How I play the game, I’m more old-fashioned,” said Westbrook, explaining why he challenged the Thunder’s Darius Bazley for scoring on a dropped dunk with 1.5 seconds remaining, rather than dribbling the clock. “And when that sort of thing happens, I don’t let it slip away. … There are some things in basketball that you just don’t do. Like in baseball, you don’t turn the bat. There are some things that you don’t do in sport when the game is already over. And I didn’t like it. It’s that simple. “

Westbrook pointed at Bazley and yelled repeatedly, ‘Don’t do that’, before his teammates came in between and Westbrook received a technical foul – his second of the night, resulting in ejection.

It was the dismal last scene of a catastrophic night for the Lakers as they failed to protect a 26 point lead in the first half and went 0 for 3 of a 3 tied in the 30 last seconds, losing against a Team of thunder which entered the night 0-4.

“A disappointing loss, but a lesson learned,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “An NBA season is a long season and a lesson for our group that you can never let go of anyone. “

As much as one would expect growing pains for a Lakers team that brings on 12 new players and juggles a handful of injuries with LeBron James, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Trevor Ariza and Wayne Ellington all put on the table. gap, Anthony Davis did not accept this crutch.

“It’s not a period of adjustment at all,” said Davis, whose 30 points and eight rebounds were wasted. “Not this game. It’s just for us. … It’s not an adjustment game where I feel like, “Oh, we’re still learning from each other. ” … No. Not this game. ”

Two worrying trends at the start of the season continued for LA: too many turnovers and not enough defense.

The Lakers have now allowed 115 or more points in their five games over their 2-3 starts, which is the longest such streak to start a season in franchise history, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information.

And Westbrook turned what was his first triple-double in a Lakers uniform (20 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists) into a quadruple-double by returning the ball more than 10 times. This after committing nine turnovers against the Memphis Grizzlies just days ago.

“I have to take care of the ball,” Westbrook said, taking the blame. “Too many authorized incidents. It’s my fault. It’s mine. But I’ll take care of it. I know it. And keep the game simple. Because we need these goods, especially in games like this. “

Since 1985, Westbrook has the most double quads (including turnovers) in the NBA with six, according to Statmuse. The next closest player is his former teammate, James Harden, with three.

Despite all of this, LA still had a chance to escape with a win on Wednesday.

As the Lakers led 118-115, Westbrook’s attempt to pull from the top of the wrench echoed off the rear rim with 27.3 seconds remaining.

Then, after forcing the Thunder to commit an 8-second backcourt violation, it was Malik Monk’s turn to try to tie him up, and he fired a 27-foot receding aerial bullet that sailed out. limits with 12.4 seconds remaining.

LA bit apple again when Carmelo Anthony stole the incoming pass from rookie Josh Giddey that was intended for Kenrich Williams, who slipped to the ground. Like Monk, Anthony’s 3 couldn’t find anything, as he too shot an overhead ball with 5.7 seconds left.

“It came right to me, man,” said Anthony, who scored 13 points off the bench. “I didn’t have full control of it, though. I tried to shoot it without having full control. My position was not good. I just saw the light of day. “

Now the Lakers are trying to see some silver lining in what has been a rough start for a group that has made no secret of their league expectations.

“It’s no fun when you lose a game like this,” Vogel said. “But I think at the end of the day, if we’re pushed like that every night, it’s going to sharpen us. It will be good for us in the long run, but you have to play with it and find a way to win. “

LA will return home to welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers and could still do without James when they face his former team, as he is seen day to day as he recovers from a pain in his right ankle that has left him kept out of the last two games.

“S—, we better leave him here,” Anthony said. “I mean, it’s a tough game to lose. … But we better leave this one here and get ready for Friday. ”


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