Russell Westbrook Pulls Off Encouraging Second Half vs Knicks

Los Angeles Lakers, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the New York Knicks on Tuesday night’s NBA action — 106-100 at Madison Square Garden. They played the game without LeBron James, who was suspended one game for his part in the altercation with Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons over the weekend.

Los Angeles got off to a very slow start, as the New York Knicks jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game. They opened up a lead as big as 25 points in the first half, but the Lakers battled back, eventually tying the game in the third quarter.

One of the reasons the Lakers were able to get back into the game was the play of Russell Westbrook. Westbrook struggled mightily in the first half, shooting 1-for-5 from the field for six points and five turnovers. But, in the second half, he turned things around in a major way.

Westbrook was tough to contain, scoring 25 of his game-high 31 in the third and fourth quarter. He scored 18 in the third quarter to help the Lakers tie the game, shooting 7-of-10 from the field. He stuffed the stat sheet, also handing out three assists, grabbing two rebounds, swiping two steals, and turning the ball over only once.

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He kept at it in the fourth quarter, scoring another seven points with three rebounds and two assists. Unfortunately, unlike the third quarter, his teammates were unable to keep it rolling in the fourth.

Anthony Davis, who was dealing with an illness, was held in check. He scored 20 points with six rebounds and three assists. It was the first time all season in which he didn’t leave a game for an injury that he failed to record at least one block or steal.

He spoke about Westbrook’s adjustments that led to a dominant second half.

“He just clicks,” Davis said of Westbrook’s mid-game adjustments. “I don’t know if he sees a matchup he likes, or someone’s talking to him on the other team or a fan. I’m not sure. But whatever it is, we just need that the entire game because it helps us.”

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Had Russell Westbrook produced at the same level in the first half as he did in the second half, the Los Angeles Lakers likely leave New York City with a victory in hand. He compiled his third career triple-double at Madison Square Garden in the process, finishing with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists with two steals and six turnovers.

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