The LA Clippers’ Russell Westbrook had his best game with the team so far in Game 4 of their Western Conference first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, scoring 14 of his 37 points in the final 10 minutes. However, despite his efforts, the Suns left Los Angeles with a 112-100 win and a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
After the game, Westbrook’s former teammate with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kevin Durant, defended him and criticized his critics. Durant said people would not appreciate Westbrook until he retired, and that the fun thing to do at the moment was to make a joke out of him. However, Durant believes Westbrook’s performance since joining the Clippers has shown his real ability.
With both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George out due to knee sprains, Westbrook is shouldering much of the Clippers’ hopes in the series. The team signed Westbrook during the All-Star break after management talked to Leonard, George and head coach Ty Lue about the benefits of adding the former MVP. Westbrook has far exceeded expectations, becoming an indispensable contributor trying to carry the Clippers against the Suns.
Westbrook has been sensational for much of the series, even when he shot just 3-for-19 and scored only nine points in Game 1. Since then, he has found his offense, averaging 31.6 points in the past three games. In Game 4, Westbrook made 17 of 29 shots, including three of six from behind the arc.
Despite criticism of Westbrook’s play, Suns player Chris Paul defended him, stating that only people who don’t know basketball criticize him. Westbrook is focused on trying to keep the Clippers from being eliminated, and he is constantly striving to improve. He will watch film after the game to see how he can top his performance in Game 4.
The Clippers face a difficult task in Game 5, as they try to avoid elimination against the Suns in Phoenix. Westbrook will be looking to continue his strong performances and do everything possible to keep his team’s season alive.
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