All of the attention will go to LeBron James following his unbelievable 47-point performance on his 38th birthday, and rightfully so. But the King undoubtedly got some help from his Los Angeles Lakers teammates as the likes of Thomas Bryant and Russell Westbrook played a huge role in the Lakers’ road victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Westbrook nearly got another triple-double, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists in the nine-point win. It is the Lakers’ second win in three games and they now have a chance to finish this five-game road trip with a winning record.
Things have been extremely difficult for the Lakers, especially without Anthony Davis, but Westbrook is hopeful that this big win in Atlanta, in the Lakers’ final game of 2022, will help the team build some momentum going into the new year, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I would hope we can get some momentum. It’s a big road win and go into Charlotte and take care of the same business. Hopefully we can gain some momentum as we go into the New Year.”
What will help the Lakers carry on this momentum is if they continue to make the big plays they made down the stretch of games and that came from more than just LeBron. The likes of Westbrook, Bryant, Dennis Schroder and Juan Toscano-Anderson all made an impact when it mattered most and for Westbrook, it is as simple as just making the right play:
“Just try to make winning plays. Whatever the play is, make the right play. I’ve been in those moments my whole career, no different for me now.”
Especially with Davis injured, it really has to be a team effort for the Lakers to string together some wins and that was exactly what happened in Atlanta. Bryant was huge with 19 points and 17 rebounds, Schroder nearly had a double-double with 12 points and nine assists, and Toscano-Anderson made huge plays on both ends of the court all night long.
Most importantly, the Lakers maintained that effort and execution down the stretch. Obviously much of that fell on LeBron’s shoulders, but the rest of the Lakers, led by Westbrook, stepped up when their number was called as well and that is what is needed in order for this team to succeed.
Russell Westbrook wants to instill confidence in Lakers’ role players
In order for the other Lakers to continue producing, they must have the confidence in themselves that they can do so when it matters most and that is something Westbrook is focused on instilling in the rest of the team.
Westbrook recently spoke about the Lakers’ role players needing to step up in the absence of Anthony Davis. The Lakers guard noted that it has to be a collective effort while adding that it is up to the leaders of the Lakers to instill that confidence in the role players.
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