Russell Westbrook Says Poster Dunk Over Rudy Gobert Gave Lakers 'Some Swagger'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 18, 2022

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. The Lakers won 101-95. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook commented on his emphatic dunk over Utah Jazz center and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert following L.A.'s 101-95 win against the Jazz on Monday night.

The dunk occurred with around two minutes remaining in the first half, and it gave the Lakers a 10-point advantage:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

RUSS ENDED RUDY AT THE RIM 🀯 <a href="https://t.co/KqqNpTejkl">pic.twitter.com/KqqNpTejkl</a>

During his postgame comments, Westbrook expressed his belief that the dunk gave the Lakers some "swagger" entering the locker room:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Russell Westbrook on his dunk over Rudy Gobert <a href="https://t.co/VfltLbVHfG">pic.twitter.com/VfltLbVHfG</a>

"I think for our team, it gave us an extra boost going into halftime," Westbrook said. "[It gave us] some swagger, which is what we need, especially right now."

Monday's win was huge for the Lakers, as they rode a three-game losing streak into the contest and were coming off a 133-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets that dropped them below .500.

They responded in a big way against a Jazz team that is fourth in the Western Conference this season at 29-15.

Westbrook didn't have a great statistical performance with 15 points on 5-of-14 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three assists, but he may have given Los Angeles a much-needed boost with that dunk.

As is often the case, LeBron James was the star of the show for the Lakers with a game-high 25 points plus seven rebounds and seven assists.

The Lakers also got a great performance out of their bench with three of the four bench players who saw action scoring in double figures, including Stanley Johnson with 15 points.

All told, the Lakers scored 44 bench points compared to just 25 for the Jazz.

By virtue of Monday's win, the Lakers got back to the .500 mark at 22-22, leaving them seventh in the Western Conference.

The Lakers are just one game behind the Nuggets for sixth, which is key since the top six seeds will avoid having to take part in a postseason play-in game.

L.A. has been trying to keep its head above water without superstar big man Anthony Davis, who has missed the past 14 games with a sprained MCL.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel gave a positive update on AD following Monday's win, saying he has been cleared for "on-court ramp-up with contact" after his most recent MRI came back clean.

The Lakers will look to keep the momentum rolling Wednesday when they host the Indiana Pacers at Crypto.com Arena.