Russell Westbrook: ‘The Way I Played Was Unacceptable’

Russell Westbrook had 14 points, during a miserable 5-of-20 shooting performance in a 114-94 Game 2 loss to the Trail Blazers, and he vows to bounce back.

“I’m going to be better,” Westbrook told reporters Tuesday night after the OKC Thunder fell down a 0-2 hole in the first round of the playoffs.

CJ McCollum (33 points) and Damian Lillard (29 points) led the way for Portland as it took a commanding series lead.


“Starting with myself, I’ve got to play better,” Westbrook said. “And tonight, the loss, I’m going to take full responsibility for tonight. Because the way I played was unacceptable. I’m going to be better, so I’m not worried one bit. My job is to make sure I continue to come out and will and lead our guys and make sure we have a chance to win the game.”

Lillard went on to outplay Westbrook in Game 2, leading the Blazers on a series of runs that culminated in a 60-40 second half. Lillard played a stellar defensive game, locking in on Westbrook with physical, hounding defense, knocking the ball away in post-ups and challenging Westbrook into questionable shots.

“I don’t really have a choice but to embrace it,” Lillard said. “That team is going to go as far as him and Paul George.”

This series turns to Oklahoma City for Game 3 on Friday, a virtual must-win for the Thunder.

“They won their first two home games, obviously wanted to try to steal one when we can, but let’s just stay with it,” Westbrook said. “We’re a great basketball team, a lot of great guys on this team that I trust in to make shots and make plays on both sides of the basketball. And we’ll be all right.”

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