Russell Westbrook issues inspiring team-first message after strong showing in Lakers' win over Magic - Lakers Daily

Russell Westbrook issues inspiring team-first message after strong showing in Lakers’ win over Magic

Russell Westbrook Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook offered an inspiring message after his struggling team defeated the Orlando Magic on Friday.

Westbrook spoke after delivering a solid performance in the Lakers’ 116-105 victory that evened their season mark at 23-23.

“My job as a player, as a professional, is to do my job, continue to find ways to be able to help impact winning,” Westbrook said. “That’s all I was thinking about and turned the page to do and that’s what I tried to do tonight.”

Westbrook, who has been the subject of trade speculation, has been under an intense media microscope due to the Lakers’ struggles this season. When he was acquired in a blockbuster offseason deal, Westbrook was seen as a huge asset for the backcourt of L.A.

However, he hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations, and he has taken a lot of heat for the Lakers’ struggles as a result.

Friday’s win was especially important. The Lakers had dropped four of their previous five contests.

Defeating the Magic required a strong second half for a Lakers team that trailed 62-54 at the half. In the third quarter, the Lakers outscored the Magic 31-16 to take control.

While Westbrook delivered in multiple ways, the duo of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony also aided the Lakers’ win, combining for 52 points. Anthony did his damage off the bench, which has typically been the case this season.

The Lakers are hoping to get Anthony Davis back soon in order to build momentum toward the postseason. Winning is a challenge that will become even more daunting in the playoffs, as the Western Conference is loaded with quality teams.

For now, the Lakers are more focused on the present, with their next contest coming on Sunday against the Miami Heat.