Not only did the Los Angeles Lakers win their first game of the season on Sunday night, but they also finally see Russell Westbrook get unleased and play his game.
Westbrook came off the bench for the Lakers for the second straight game, and it worked wonders for the team as Russ had his best showing of the season against the Denver Nuggets. He finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. More importantly, he played impactful and winning basketball, as proven by his team-high plus-minus 18.
There have been a lot of talks about Westbrook making a sacrifice for the good of the team, and it's clear he did just that. Sure enough, the praises kept pouring in after that. During the game, the LA faithful showered him with cheers, and that continued after their 121-110 win.
Russell Westbrook has the crowd behind them tonight.
Lakers up 99-95 on the Nuggets with over 8 minutes to go.
(via @michaelcorvoNBA) pic.twitter.com/LpfxgEM5Mc
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) October 31, 2022
Russell Westbrook is pic.twitter.com/DkppXSpsbD
— 𝕃𝕒𝕪𝕞𝕒𝕟 𝔸𝕟𝕒𝕝𝕪𝕤𝕥 NBA™🤔 (@LaymanAnalyst) October 31, 2022
Russell Westbrook when everyone counted him outpic.twitter.com/wIgjWGF9Zb
— Devin. (@DevDock) October 31, 2022
Veteran NBA reporter Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated also couldn't help but jump into the Russell Westbrook hype. He knows it's just one game, but it could very well be the catalyst that turns things around for the Lakers.
“It’s one game, but there’s no doubt Russell Westbrook can have this kind of impact as a sixth man. If he embraces it — and he played like he did tonight — he has more than enough left to thrive in this role,” Mannix wrote.
Meanwhile, other fans were simply impressed and gave Westbrook the respect he deserves.
“Russell Westbrook is my goat,” one fan said.
Another one commented, “Credit where credit is due – Russell Westbrook had a good game.”