Russell Westbrook and the Los Angeles Clippers easily defeated the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
Coming into this outing, a lot was on the line. There was some consideration on the Lakers’ side regarding letting Anthony Davis rest on the second night of a back to back, but the stakes were ultimately too high.
In the end, it didn’t end up mattering. Even with Davis, LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell, the Clippers proved to be too much for the Lakers.
With the win, the Clippers now own the No. 5 seed and the Lakers dropped down to the No. 7 seed.
Westbrook, in particular, had a fantastic showing against his old club. He ended up scoring 14 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and made the Lakers pay every time they left him open.
In addition to that, he also made it a point to taunt James, his old teammate, at every turn.
Russell Westbrook in LeBron’s face 🔥 pic.twitter.com/jRNvPGE5uQ
— Beastbrook (@Beastbr00k0) April 6, 2023
LeBron James passes to Russell Westbrook on the Clippers bench.
Russ pointed to him and said ‘good pass!’ 😂
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) April 6, 2023
Russell Westbrook has pointed to LeBron after makes multiple times…
— Law Murray ❎️ (@LawMurrayTheNU) April 6, 2023
Westbrook coming for LeBron’s Neck 👀 pic.twitter.com/7vl2fSGivU
— Zierough (@Zierough) April 6, 2023
It’s hard to blame Westbrook for feeling some type of way. He probably still remembers what James said about him after he was traded away. And what Anthony Davis said about him. And what Austin Reaves said about him.
Plus, what Rob Pelinka said about him when explaining the rationale for trading him away.
It feels like Westbrook bottled all that up and used it as fuel on Wednesday.
All in all, it will be interesting to see how this week’s Battle For L.A. will ultimately impact both teams going forward.
No wonder the Nets looked so distracted last night. https://t.co/PCULQuTdG2
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 5, 2023
If the Clippers lose to Kevin Durant and the Phoenix Suns in the first round because they finish fifth, then obviously the Lakers will feel pretty good about how everything turned out.
But if the Lakers end up in the play-in and don’t even qualify for the real postseason as a result, then obviously Wednesday’s loss will have been pretty consequential.
Either way, Westbrook won the battle over James this week. Who will ultimately win the war? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.