Clippers and Kings combine for 2nd-highest scoring game in NBA history in Russell Westbrook’s debut
Russell Westbrook was in the spotlight at the beginning of his debut with the Los Angeles Clippers, but by the end, all eyes were on the scoreboard. Which took some time.
The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard’s first minutes as a Clipper came in the second-highest scoring game in NBA history, with the Sacramento Kings scoring a 176–175 double win in overtime. Per ESPN Statistics and InformationThe total number of three-point shots, equal to 44, also became an all-time record in the history of the NBA.
The game ended 19 points short of the NBA record, 186-184 Detroit Pistons’ three-time victory over the Denver Nuggets in 1983.
De’Aaron Fox proved to be the most noteworthy point guard with 42 points and 12 assists, including what turned out to be a game-winning shot at the end of a double overtime.
Malik Monk also scored a season-high 45 and a 3-pointer to tie late in regulation.
Russell Westbrook had 14 assists in his Clippers debut
For all the talk of Westbrook needing to change and what the Clippers could have done differently with him, the former MVP looked very much the same with his new team.
Starting at point guard, he finished with a 17-point line on 7-of-13 shooting with 14 assists, seven assists and five rebounds, giving the Clippers the kind of distributor and colorful presence they were probably hoping for when they were drafted. he moved up after the Lakers traded him and the Utah Jazz bought him out.
It was just one game, but one statistic suggested that the Clippers might be a better match for Westbrook than the Lakers. Westbrook finished with eight assists, hitting three-pointers. ESPN Statistics and Informationhis highest score in the last two seasons.
The Clippers got the full Russell Westbrook experience at the end of regulation. He hit with 15 seconds left to give the team three points, a much-needed contribution after narrowly missing a 147-136 lead with less than three minutes left.
However, the Kings soon had a ball with a chance to tie it, and Westbrook appeared to have lost to Monk on defense, though Norman Powell’s error may have been. In any case, the result was overtime.
The nonsense didn’t end with overtime or double overtime. The Clippers built a six-point lead in both periods, but ended up with a very chaotic defeat. Kawhi Leonard finished with 44 points on 16-of-22 shooting, while Paul George had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
Westbrook’s 39 minutes was partly due to Terence Mann, the Clippers’ previous point guard starter, who had just 18 minutes. The Clippers were six points ahead of the Kings with Mann on the floor and three with Westbrook.
After the game, Clippers head coach Tyrone Liu admitted that he should have played more with Mann, but admitted he wanted to experiment with lineups that included some of his team’s newly acquired players.
It’s not fair to judge Westbrook as a Clipper in a game like Friday, but he’s not without flaws. There were seven assists, six personal fouls and defensive misses. No player in the NBA is as flawed as Westbrook, and he will remain under the microscope for the foreseeable future.
The good news for the Clippers is that it won’t be as hard to get away from him if he doesn’t work, as it did with the Los Angeles Lakers. And if it really works, well, that would be the real story.