Washington Wizards fans offered Russell Westbrook a warm welcome during a clash against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, showing they hold fond memories of the guard’s time with the organization in 2020-21.
D.C. beat L.A. 127-119, overcoming a double-digit deficit to snatch the win from the Lakers’ hands late in the game. But even when the Wizards still trailed the visitors, they cheered on Westbrook throughout the night.
Capital One Arena got particularly loud when the 2017 NBA MVP hit a fourth-quarter triple despite the fact his shot extended L.A.’s lead to seven points.
“I’m very appreciative of the overall organization and the fans,” Westbrook said after the game. “They welcomed me and my family with open arms since Day 1 when I got here. A lot of people last year were counting us out as a team and guys are still here and coaching staff as well. It was good to see a lot of those guys.
“I was happy to be a part of an organization that believed in things I’m able to do. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
D.C. will forever remain a special place for Westbrook, as it was during his time with the Wizards that he became an all-time triple-double leader, surpassing Oscar Robertson.
Frank Vogel ‘Happy’ To See Westbrook Lead Lakers To Win Over Raptors
On the front end of this week’s back-to-back games, Westbrook made the key play to secure a win for the Lakers against the Toronto Raptors. The 33-year-old struck from downtown with just 0.9 seconds left in the game to send it to overtime — allowing L.A. to edge out the Raptors and win on the road for the first time in 11 games.
After the game, head coach Frank Vogel said he was “happy” to see Westbrook enjoy a big night in an overall difficult season for the guard.
“I’m super happy for him,” Vogel said. “He’s obviously dealt with a lot, more than most of us with this season in terms of criticism and whatnot and he’s handled it well and he’s staying in the fight and staying in with his teammates. He really competed.”
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