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Monday, December 13, 2021

Russell Westbrook’s angry ejection caps Lakers’ pitiful night

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Russell Westbrook’s first triple-double as a Laker was overshadowed by two technicals and an ejection in Wednesday’s loss to the Thunder.

In a return to Oklahoma City, Westbrook was tossed with seconds to go in the game when he took issue with Darius Bazley’s fast break dunk. The Thunder, at that point, were up by five.

Westbrook pointed at Bazley and repeatedly yelled, “Don’t do that,” as he charged toward him. Players from both teams separated the scuffle before things escalated.

Westbrook received his second technical foul of the night, resulting in an ejection.

“How I play the game, I’m more old-school,” Westbrook explained about why he reacted to Bazley’s dunk. “And when s–t like that happens, I don’t let it slide.

“In the game of basketball, there’s certain things you just don’t do. Like in baseball, you don’t flip the bat. There’s certain things you don’t do in sports when the game’s already over. And I didn’t like it. Simple as that.”

It was a disappointing night for the new-look Lakers, who added 12 new names in the offseason – including Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony. Los Angeles failed to hold onto a 26-point lead, and blew late three-point opportunities to secure a win.

Westbrook, who has been taking on more minutes in the absence of an injured LeBron James (right leg), recorded a quadruple double of sorts with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists – and 10 turnovers.

Russell Westbrook with the Lakers
Russell Westbrook with the Lakers
Getty Images

“It’s my fault, it’s on me,” he said when asked about his turnovers in the Lakers’ 123-115 loss to OKC. The upset came a fews days after Westbrook notched nine turnovers in a win against the Grizzlies.

“I got to take care of the ball,” Westbrook said. “Too many mishaps allowed. It’s my fault. It’s on me. But I’m going to take care of it. I know that. And keep the game simple. Because we need those possessions, especially in games like this.”

The win marked OKC’s first to start the season.

The Lakers play host to the Cavaliers on Friday. It’s unclear if James will return after missing two games due to a sore right leg. He is considered day-to-day.

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