Los Angeles Lakers star guard Russell Westbrook tried to downplay his benching as he said the most important thing was that the Lakers won. Westbrook was subbed in with five and a half minutes to go in the fourth quarter against the New York Knicks.
Westbrook scored zero points, missed his only field and went 0-of-2 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter as the Knicks forced an overtime. Westbrook was benched for the overtime and it paid off as the Lakers beat the Knicks 122-115.
"The best part of this game is that you win," Westbrook said, according to ESPN. "Guys competed. We won the game and that's all that matters."
Westbrook had a poor performance
Westbrook shot just 1-of-10 from the field as he scored five points, dished out six assists and had four turnovers.
"That [fourth quarter] stretch was part of it," Vogel said of his decision-making process. "I think obviously Russ was having a tough night on both sides of the ball and Bron was really going. So I knew the ball was going to be in Bron's hands and I felt like we were going to get more from a defensive perspective and off-ball action with Talen, so ...
you just make tough decisions in the spirit of whatever the team needs to win a game." It was the second time Westbrook was benched. Three weeks ago, Westbrook was benched in the fourth quarter of the Indiana Pacers game.
"I just talked to [Vogel] about that I was upset about it," Westbrook said of the Indiana game. "But I was more upset I didn't win the game. But not about when or how he would do it. But it doesn't matter.
Like I said, it's not about me. I don't want to make it about me. It's more about our team and our guys. Tonight we got a good win and now move onto the next one."