The Clippers scored 175 points in Russell Westbrook‘s debut … and still lost. It came via a 176-175 double-overtime defeat at the hands of the visiting Kings on Friday.
Westbrook started and finished with 17 points and 14 assists, looking every bit as comfortable next to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as he ever did with the Lakers. Leonard finished with 44 points and George scored 34.
“He knew enough (of the offense after two days of practice),” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said, via Jim Alexander of the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “Knowing PG’s plays, knowing Kawhi’s plays, that’s the most important thing. So he picked those things up right away. There’s still a lot more that we can still incorporate and learn on the fly. But I thought he did a good job knowing the plays and knowing the play calls, and he did a good job with it.”
Westbrook indicated he thought there were plenty of positive signs as well.
“I’m just trying to find ways to be effective while I’m on the floor and (to do) whatever’s asked of me, screening or whatever, rolling, handling, whatever that may be, cutting,” he said, via Alexander. “And I just try to do different things to impact the game and (use) my IQ to be able to make plays for others.
“… I see so many things that I’m thinking about now for when I go home and watch the film tonight, just how I can be able to help make the game even more easier for them so they don’t have to work as hard. And, you know, we’ll get there.”
Along with everything else, he received some nice ovations from the home crowd — with the Clippers playing in the same gym as the Lakers.
“I mean, it’s a blessing, you know, just the excitement in the building,” Westbrook said, via Alexander. “The enthusiasm from the fans and just the support that they have, not just for me but for our overall team, was great. And, you know, hopefully we can be able to keep that going as the season goes along. And I’ll do my part by playing as hard as I can, you know, when given the opportunity.
“… I think that’s something I don’t take for granted, being somewhere where given an opportunity to go play. Not just that, but the support of the organization, my teammates, the fans overall. … The support system around us was an all-time high.”