Lakers bring out the best in Russell Westbrook

Westbrook's hometown team usually brings out the best in him. The Lakers or Kobe Bryant, whichever the case may be.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 13, 2013

The Lakers, out of options, asked Kobe to cover Westbrook. Seemed like a good way to tear another Achilles. But here's the maturation of Westbrook. Time was, that competitive spirit swelled into negative energy. Westbrook trying to do too much on his own.

There was none of that Friday night. Maybe Peter Pan is all grown up.

Sure, Westbrook took more shots, 19, than anyone else on the court, but that was mainly because he could get a shot at anytime.

But more often than not, Westbrook looked to playmake.

In the third quarter, Westbrook had four assists in a span of 1:39. An alley oop to Andre Roberson for a dunk, a dish to Ibaka for a reverse layup, a toss to Perkins off a pick'n roll and an alley oop to Durant for a dunk.

Just another in a string of outstanding performances by Westbrook. He's not saving it all up for the Lakers. In points, rebounds and assists, Westbrook's previous three games were 27-6-9 at Memphis, 14-9-11 at Atlanta, 26-7-13 against Indiana. All in the last six days.

That makes 45 assists in his last four games. That's the third-best four-game stretch in Westbrook's career; he had 49 assists in four games in January 2011 and 46 in four games in March/April 2010.

“Just finding open guys,” Westbrook said. “Sometimes you gotta kind of take yourself out of the picture and know the bigger picture of the game. Serge, Kevin, whoever's in the game with me, Andre. Keep their confidence high. That's my job.”

It's a job he does particular well against the Lakers, who bring out the best in Westbrook.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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