Russell Westbrook received some high praise from rookie Ja Morant after his Houston Rockets handed the Memphis Grizzlies a convincing 140-112 defeat. Westbrook had 33 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists in a showstopping offensive performance that saw Houston score 35 or more in every quarter.
Morant said Westbrook is “highly disrespected” as a star in this league:
“I still feel like he’s highly disrespected,” Morant told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “People take his play for granted. I mean, he averaged a triple-double for the last three or four years, and I’m pretty sure they see what he’s doing this year, but it’s still the same thing. I just love that he still just goes out and plays and handles his business and doesn’t worry about it.”
Westbrook, who averaged 32.5 points in January and 32.3 points in February as head coach Mike D’Antoni has shifted to a small-ball lineup for good, mostly scoffed at the compliment:
“I don’t really care what nobody else thinks about my game,” said Westbrook. “I appreciate guys like [Morant] and other guys, but as long as I’m OK and satisfied with what I bring to the table, I’m going to keep busting everybody’s ass.”
Westbrook has five games with 30 or more points, including two in a row — as the Rockets have won seven of their eight games in February. Houston is riding a five-game win streak and recently leapfrogged the Utah Jazz for fourth place in the West.