Clippers and Kings mix for 2nd-highest scoring recreation in NBA historical past in Russell Westbrook’s debut

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Russell Westbrook scores on a layup around Chimezie Metu #7 and De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings during the first half at Arena on February 24, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook turned out to be a subplot in his personal debut. (Picture by Harry How/Getty Pictures)

Russell Westbrook was the focal point in the beginning of his Los Angeles Clippers debut, however all eyes have been on the scoreboard by the top. Which took some time.

The previous Los Angeles Lakers level guard’s first minutes as a Clipper got here in what turned out to be the second-highest scoring recreation in NBA historical past, a 176-175 double-overtime win for the Sacramento Kings. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the groups’ mixed 44 3-pointers was additionally essentially the most in a recreation in NBA historical past.

The sport completed 19 factors in need of the NBA report, a 186-184 triple-overtime win for the Detroit Pistons over the Denver Nuggets in 1983.

De’Aaron Fox turned out to be the purpose guard most worthy of consideration, as he dropped 42 factors and 12 assists, together with what turned out to be the game-winning basket on the finish of double OT.

Malik Monk additionally had 45 factors and a 3-pointer to tie the sport on the finish of regulation.

Russell Westbrook posts 14 assists in Clippers debut

For all of the speak about how Westbrook wants to vary and what the Clippers may do in a different way with him, the previous MVP seemed fairly related together with his new group.

Beginning at level guard, he completed with a line of 17 factors on 7-of-13 capturing with 14 assists, seven turnovers and 5 rebounds, giving the Clippers the type of distributor and paint-attacking presence they have been possible hoping for after they picked him up after the Lakers traded him and the Utah Jazz purchased him out.

It was just one recreation, however one stat confirmed how the Clippers would possibly show a greater match for Westbrook than the Lakers. Westbrook completed with eight assists on 3-pointers made, based on ESPN Stats & Info, his highest complete within the final two seasons.

The Clippers acquired the total Russell Westbrook expertise on the finish of regulation. He delivered a clutch basket with 15 seconds left to place the group up three factors, a much-needed contribution after almost blowing a 147-136 lead with lower than three minutes left.

Quickly, nonetheless, the Kings had the ball with an opportunity to tie it and Westbrook appeared to lose Monk on protection, although there may even have been an error on the a part of Norman Powell. Both method, the end result was extra time.

The nonsense did not finish in extra time or double extra time. The Clippers constructed up a six-point lead in each durations, however ended up taking a really chaotic loss. Kawhi Leonard completed with 44 factors on 16-of-22 capturing, whereas Paul George had 34 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

Westbrook’s 39 minutes performed partially got here on the expense of Terance Mann, the Clippers earlier starter at level guard, who had solely 18 minutes. The Clippers outscored the Kings by six factors with Mann on the ground and by three with Westbrook.

After the sport, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue conceded he ought to have performed Mann extra, however conceded he wished to experiment with lineups that includes a few of his group’s just lately acquired gamers.

It feels unfair to guage Westbrook as a Clipper in a recreation like Friday’s, however he wasn’t with out his negatives. There have been the seven turnovers, the six private fouls and the defensive lapses. No participant within the NBA is extra outlined by his negatives than Westbrook, and he’ll stay below the microscope for the foreseeable future.

The excellent news for the Clippers is it will not be almost as onerous to maneuver on from him if he does not work out because it was for the Los Angeles Lakers. And if he does work out, properly, that will make for fairly a narrative.

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