Lakers News: Russell Westbrook Pleased With Defensive Performance Against Trail Blazers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers recorded a gutsy victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, snapping their three-game losing streak on Wednesday.

With no LeBron James, who still deals with swelling in his knee, L.A. went through ups and downs during the night — allowing Portland to erase a double-digit deficit in the second quarter.

“It was just one of those quarters,” said Russell Westbrook. “For the most part, we were fine – 16 point quarter, 22 point, 19 point quarter. We can’t ask for a better defensive game than that. They shot 35 percent from the field. We’ll live with that any day of the week.”

But a collective effort from the Purple and Gold’s stars helped L.A. notch their 25th win of the season.

Anthony Davis battled hard on the glass while trying to hurt the Trail Blazers from mid-range and the restricted area, ending up with 30 points and 15 rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony joined Davis in carrying the Lakers’ offense, chipping in 24 points, shooting 66.7% from the field.

Meanwhile, Westbrook put up an all-around performance, missing on a triple-double by one basket — or a free throw — as he chalked up 10 rebounds, 13 assists, and nine points.

The 2017 NBA MVP hailed L.A.’s resilience and commitment to the team’s game plan despite the second-quarter setback.

“That happens in NBA games,” Westbrook said. “[Jusuf] Nurkic hit two threes in that quarter. We didn’t particularly score as well. They hit about six or seven threes that quarter contested. Sometimes you do the right things and they still score.

“That’s why we stick to our game plan, which we did in the third and fourth quarter, and it paid off for us.”

Westbrook praises Anthony for ‘executing his craft’

Anthony rarely missed on Wednesday, going 8-for-12 from the field and 5-for-6 from downtown. The 37-year-old forward also put on a show in the fourth quarter, ending Westbrook’s lob pass with an alley-oop dunk.

Westbrook emphasized Anthony’s efficiency and commitment to his in-game tasks.

“Just being locked in on his role and understanding what he brings to the table night in and night out,” the 2017 NBA MVP said.

“He’s doing a good job of executing his craft and doing what he’s able to do and that’s shooting the basketball at a high level. Tonight was one of those nights.”

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