Sixers docked two picks for free agency violations
Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham nearly burst into tears when talking about buying and delivering Russell Westbrook as a bench player after ending their winless start to the season.
Westbrook made a strong contribution to the Lakers, coming off the bench for the second straight game and playing 32 minutes with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Lakers won 121-110 against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday to end their streak. five games. losing race.
The 2017 MVP shot six of 12 from the field, including two three-pointers, while he was perfect with four of four from the free throw line.
Westbrook’s new role under Ham, who took over from Frank Vogel in the offseason, comes after the point guard faced widespread criticism for the Lakers missing out on the playoffs in his first year in the franchise. last season.
“I’m so happy for him,” Ham told reporters. “The last two games, Minnesota and tonight, he’s been phenomenal. Nothing short of amazing. But I’m so happy. I can’t even imagine what this kid is going through.
“One of the most important things to me about getting this job was that it got the respect it deserved, because a lot of what happened last year was not his. mistake.
“And all, all the blame was placed on him. I said to him, ‘man, just listen to me, believe in me bro. I’m going to put you in a position to be successful with the band, but you have to put the band first. I can’t talk about me or me or my people. It has to be us, ours, us.” And he did.
Westbrook, who had 18 points and eight rebounds against the Timberwolves on Friday, may not have started on Sunday, but he was key in the streak, with a layup and two free throws in the final two minutes. .
“As I’ve said since day one, all I need to help the team win is what I’ll do,” Westbrook said.
The win lifted the Lakers, who were the last winless team in the NBA, to 1-5 after missing the playoffs last season with a 33-49 record.
“I just think the guys got tired of repeating the same moves over the last four or five games where we’ve been very competitive,” Ham said. “I saw a different kind of focus… It’s part of the process.
“Tonight we had to prove something to ourselves, not to the world, not to the media. It was great to see how we reacted throughout the game.”
LeBron James scored with 26 points, while forward Anthony Davis was outstanding with 23 points and 15 rebounds, but appeared to suffer from a back problem.
“It’s day to day,” Davis said. “One day I feel good, the next day [I don’t]. Just try to manage it and keep getting treatment. I’m not going to let that stop me.”