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.
“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.”