Russell Westbrook has taken full responsibility for the Clippers’ recent loss to the Orlando Magic 113-108 where they conceded a 39-point run in the fourth quarter. The Angelenos were surprised in the absence of Kawhi Leonard, who did not wear shorts due to problems with his right knee.
“Honestly it’s all my fault,” Westbrook admitted to the outlet. ESPN. “He could have played much better. I started good. But only in the second half I was terrible. And I have to do a better job helping my teammates, and especially in the last quarters. It is nobody’s fault. Mine alone,” he explained.
With Leonard out of the lineup, Westbrook went into the 37th minute with 14 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds on 5/14 shooting from the field. The Clippers were not able to stop Wendell Carter Jr. under the boards, and especially Markelle Fultz who starred in one of the best games of his career: 28 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals for the former number 1 of the 2017 Draft.
“We didn’t finish the rotations,” Paul George noted. “Wendell has pitched very well tonight. We just didn’t finish the rotations well and we didn’t take his pitching very seriously,” he added.
The aforementioned Carter Jr. had a double-double with 27 points and 12 rebounds through 11/19 shooting and 4/8 3-pointers.
About Westbrook, and as he himself pointed out, he was not good during the fourth period. He missed his last three free throws, and in the last seven games he has made 4 of 22 attempts. In addition, he was by far the worst player in the quintet with -15 on the court.
“He’s a pro,” George said of his partner. “He is quite a veteran. A Top 75 player. He’s going to top it. He has the necessary confidence in his game. And we trust him. We are going to cover his back always. He never worries me. Russ’ shot. We know what he brings to the offense and his value on this team. That’s the most important thing,” he stressed.
«He does so many good things that I don’t care if he fails them. He plays very hard every game and is someone I support a lot, “he concluded.
(Cover photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)