Russell Westbrook Takes Blame for Clippers' Loss to Magic Without Kawhi LeonardMarch 19, 2023
Russell Westbrook accepted the blame after the Los Angeles Clippers suffered a 113-108 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
"This one's on me, honestly, tonight," Westbrook said after the game, per Law Murray of The Athletic. "I could have been better. Started off good. But just in the second half, was terrible. And I got to do a better job of helping the guys out in the second half and the fourth quarter. So, it's nothing anybody did. But honestly, it's on me, you know. More focus in closing the game."
Kawhi Leonard was out to rest him ahead of a back-to-back, but the Clippers were still expected to win against an opponent out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Even with Paul George scoring 30, the rest of the Clippers couldn't pick up the slack.
Westbrook finished with 14 points and nine assists, although it also came with six turnovers and 5-of-14 from the field, including 0-of-3 from three-point range. He finished minus-15 in 37 minutes, the worst plus-minus in the game.
The 34-year-old has been more efficient in 10 games since joining the Clippers, producing a .504 effective field-goal percentage that would be a career high. His .04 win shares per 48 minutes are nearly double his .021 mark with the Lakers this season, per Basketball Reference.
He's still been an easy target for fans throughout his career, and it's clear he is willing to take responsibility for his play in the latest loss.