Wednesday night’s game against the Thunder was Russell Westbrook’s sixth regular-season game and the third in Oklahoma City since being traded in the 2019 offseason.
While he did enjoy a 3-2 record as a visitor, his first game back in Oklahoma City as a Laker was a forgettable outing not just for him but for the team, which was capped off by his ejection.
With only 1.5 seconds remaining on the game clock, the former MVP expressed his displeasure after Darius Bazley finished off a steal with a dunk to put a bow on the 123-115 victory. He was assessed a technical, which was his second of the game, which lead to his ejection.
When ejected, Westbrook had a triple-double to his name with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 13 assists – his first as a Laker and the 185th of his career.
However, along with those numbers, he was also responsible for 10 of the team’s 17 turnovers, helping him extend his unenvious quadruple-double record.
“I got to look at the tape,” Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said of Westbrook’s 10 turnovers postgame. Meanwhile, the former Thunder superstar kept it simple – “I got to take care of the ball.”
Westbrook recorded a game-high plus-minus of -12 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 through five games, the Lakers have a net rating of negative 9.3 points per 100 possession with Westbrook on the floor whereas while he’s on the bench, the net rating jumps to +12.7 points per 100 possession. That’s a 21 point differential!
Despite the jarring numbers, Vogel always knew this was coming 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 everybody knew this rough period was coming but it would be difficult to forget this game especially since it came at his old stomping ground.