The ultimate highlight reel of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 101-95 recent dub against the Utah Jazz is definitely from the wonders of Russell Westbrook.
Right at the remaining two minutes of the 1st half, the all-star guard overpowered Royce O’Neale and sliced through the fearsome interior defense of the Jazz wherein the skyscraping center Rudy Gobert was waiting. With that remarkable ferociousness and insane athleticism to go through, Westbrook flew and dropped an emphatic poster dunk over the contact of the French big man – making the whole Crypto.com Arena rocking with pure energy.
At the post-game media availability, the 33-year-old star addressed the jaw-dropping play he starred in, stating that the dunk gave them a much-needed momentum entering halftime.
“I think for our team it gave us an extra boost going into halftime, gave us some swagger, which is what we need, especially right now,” Westbrook said following the Monday win, via Michael Corvo of ClutchPoints. “It’s a good team we beat.”
After having some poor defensive showings from the past three games wherein they gave up an average of 128.3 points, the Lakers were locked in and inserted a tremendous effort of guarding the Jazz, holding the Western Conference opponent to 35.1 percent shooting at the end of the second quarter.
Though Los Angeles has seen another possible meltdown going down the stretch wherein Utah blazed off for a 12-2 run on the dying seconds of the third period, 78-68, the purple and gold kept their foot on the gas pedal and went for a 13-0 blitz at the middle of the last quarter, which was further ignited by huge actions from Avery Bradley, Stanley Johnson and the and-one play of Westbrook to seal the victory.
“No, no,” Westbrook told reporters when asked if it meant more to posterize the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert. “Honestly, no. I’m just thankful and blessed to be able to go out and compete. As the season prolongs, plays like that will be better for me, finding a better rhythm.
“Happen to be Gobert tonight, but could be anybody, any night.”
Finally, the feisty former league MVP has a few words about those people who are doubting him if he can still glide through the rim and make a shocking finish.
“Yeah, that’s people’s problem. That’s they problem … It’s Year 14 for me. People don’t just want me coming in the paint, taking off, and seeing if I still have my legs … It’s something I can still do.”
Meanwhile, head coach Frank Vogel delivered his own praise on Westbrook for a heck of a sequence in imposing a challenge in front of the intimidating 7’2″ Jazz tower.
“You have to go smart or go strong against Rudy,” Vogel said. “If you take anything weak to the basket, he’s going to swat it away. You have to attack the basket with aggression like that … What a hell of a finish.”
The Lakers deleted their three-game losing skid and are now back in the win column, as they are now gearing for the next matchup against another road squad in Indiana Pacers. Meanwhile, the Jazz have now lost their second match in the back-to-back and came up short for the fifth time in the last six occasions. They are set to redeem themselves as they fly back home to Salt Lake City to face the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.