The Houston Rockets looked ready to complete a comeback to take a commanding 2-0 lead over the Lakers, but Russell Westbrook didn’t help the situation.
The first half against the Lakers was one to forget for the Houston Rockets, particularly for Russell Westbrook. While normally his superpower, his frenetic energy caused him to throw the ball all over the court, turning the ball over four times while tallying just two points and two assists.
Westbrook also was forced into uncomfortable shots, but even when he got to the basket, he was missing. At the half, Russ was just 1-for-8, including three ill-advised 3-point attempts and misses from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the attack for the Lakers, going into the locker room with 17 and 18 points, respectively. As tends to happen to the Houston Rockets, a random outburst from an unexpected source occurred as well, with Markieff Morris exploding at the end of the first quarter for 14 points on 4-of-4 from downtown.
When the third quarter began, the Rockets went on a 14-0 run to start third led by hot outside shooting from Eric Gordon. By the end of the quarter, Houston outscored Los Angeles 41-23 to take a two-point lead going into the final frame.
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The Lakers then showed why they came into the playoffs as a one seed and favorite to win it all by slowing the Rockets down to just 17 fourth-quarter points to run away with Game 2, 117-109.
Unfortunately, Russell Westbrook was never able to find much of a rhythm in anything besides rebounding the ball.
In 33 minutes, he finished shooting 4-of-15 from the floor and 1-for-7 from three while coughing up the ball seven times.
Westbrook admitted he needs to step up going forward, acknowledging his turnovers weren’t acceptable.
“Some are my fault. Some are missed calls. But it’s on me,” said Westbrook. Mike D’Antoni was asked about the difference between aggressiveness and recklessness in regards to Westbrook postgame.
“He needs to be aggressive,” said D’Antoni. That’s why he’s Russell Westbrook. He’ll work it out.”
Russell is the man when James Harden is getting rest, and if his competitive nature is any indication, he’ll put together a much better game on Tuesday.