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Russell Westbrook rejects ‘depressed’ Rockets locker room after third straight loss

Russell Westbrook, Rockets

The Houston Rockets seemed to be in control for much of Saturday night’s marquee matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. Houston led by six at the half, with Russell Westbrook putting on a show in the first quarter.

However, the Lakers were not to be denied. Los Angeles outscored the Rockets 32-17 in the third quarter, dominating every aspect of the game and controlling the paint.

While the Lakers continue their ascent at the top of the Western Conference, the Rockets are struggling to build momentum. Houston have now lost three straight, and they have fallen to the sixth spot in the West.

But Westbrook, ever the optimist, had words of encouragement after another frustrating loss (via Kelly Iko of The Athletic):

“Nobody put their head down in here,” Westbrook said. “If I see it, I’ll go grab it myself and put their head up. It’s no reason to put your head down. … There’s no reason you should ever walk out of here with your head down. I’m obviously disappointed [with] the loss, but we got bigger things in life that’s bigger than a basketball game.”

January started off well for the Rockets, as they won three of their first four. But they have been totally outclassed during the course of this losing streak, even with Westbrook looking dominant.

“The Brodie” scored 35 points on 15-of-23 shooting against the Lakers on Saturday, adding nine rebounds and seven assists for good measure. In fact, Westbrook has scored at least 30 points in each of Houston’s last four games, including a triple-double against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Westbrook might have all the confidence in the world at present, but the Rockets need to show improvement on the defensive end of the floor. They gave up an average of over 120 points per game in the last three contests, and they look very disorganized.