Russell Westbrook: Lakers Have To ‘Compete’ Regardless Of Who’s Injured Or Not
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 120-117 after overtime on Wednesday night thanks to their determination and team effort. L.A.’s All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis received a lot of help from the team’s role players including Wayne Ellington and Malik Monk, who scored a season-high 27 points on Wednesday.

Monk was in his element throughout the night, shooting 10-for-13 from the field and 4-for-7 from behind the 3-point line. The 23-year-old guard oozed with confidence, making a few particularly difficult shots with no regard to which Heat player stood in his way.

Westbrook put in a triple-double, scoring 25 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds. Although the 33-year-old registered eight turnovers, he made up for the lost possessions by getting key buckets late in the game.

“Just resiliency,” Westbrook said, commenting on the game. “We have guys down and short numbered. We’re in a position where nobody not going to feel sorry for us. I think I mentioned it last game, we just got to compete regardless of who we’re playing and regardless of the circumstances.

“We got to compete at the level we know how to and give ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Westbrook added the Lakers’ collective effort against Miami shows L.A. starts realizing the potential of its roster this year.

“Gives us character,” Westbrook said, asked what the nature of the victory meant. “Puts us in the right state of mind, spirit. In the right state of mind because we know we got enough in this locker room.

“Even with so many guys out that we definitely need, but we know we have enough to be able to maintain and be able to keep our head afloat and make sure we’re playing the right way. We got guys that can get hot on our team. Shooters that can change a game in Malik [Monk], Wayne [Ellington], and kind of everybody did that tonight.”

The 2017 NBA MVP said he makes a conscious effort to play selflessly even though he took matters into his hands in the fourth quarter.

“Just pick my spots as the game prolongs and find ways to be able to do that, but also make sure that I keep a healthy balance of finding my teammates, picking my spots along with scoring the basketball, which is not always the easiest thing to do, but I can always figure it out,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook doesn’t take Lakers fans’ support for granted

Westbrook praised Lakers fans for the energy they bring to Staples Center. The guard said he has taken note of the loud support from the stands this season and doesn’t want to take it for granted.

“I think it’s really just intriguing to see as the game prolongs,” Westbrook said.

“[T]he fans get real intense and real locked in and that’s great to see when you look around and seeing not just people sitting in their seats, but they’re up, locked in cheering us on giving us positive energy and that’s something that me as a player I don’t take for granted.”

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