Russ Westbrook: 'My job is to attack'

ByRoyce Young via ESPN logo
Monday, December 22, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thunder guard Russell Westbrook took exception to questions Sunday about his perceived lack of passing following the Thunder's 101-99 loss to the Pelicans.

"It's one game, man. I'm not going to keep answering questions about me not passing when we lose," Westbrook said. "When we won eight in a row, nobody said nothing about me not passing. So I don't want to hear it now."

Westbrook finished with 29 points on 10-of-27 shooting with eight assists. But in the final 3:45, during which the Thunder went scoreless, he went 0-of-6 with a turnover, which included a contested 3 at the buzzer for the win.

"Once I tried to attack, [Jrue Holiday] stopped me, so I got the ball back and I went for the win," Westbrook said. "Just missed."

Said Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans of the final play: "We knew he wasn't going to give the ball up. We knew he was going to go. We knew he was going to get the ball and they were going to go to him every time."

The Thunder fell to 13-15 with the loss, keeping them 1 games out of eighth place in the Western Conference. The Thunder played the majority of the opening month without Westbrook orKevin Durant, but since their return have won 10 of their past 13games.

Again withoutDurant, who was sidelined a second consecutive game with a sprained ankle, Westbrook shouldered the majority of the Thunder's offensive burden, particularly late in the game, taking nine of the team's 22 shots in the fourth quarter.

"My job is to stay in attack mode and try and score and try to make plays happen," Westbrook said. "If I miss, then I miss. I'm going to live and die by that every night, regardless of what happens."

In the final five minutes, Westbrook took eight of the Thunder's 11 shots (two were offensive putback attempts), with two turnovers. His last assist came with 3:59 left in the third quarter.

"Nah, nah, nah," he said when asked if his teammates weren't getting open. "I'm not going to blame my teammates for anything, man."

Westbrook has played in 12 games since coming back from a fractured hand, scoring at least 20 points in all of them.

For the first time, Westbrook played without a protective cover on his right hand.

"Different, different," he said. "It was actually weird, but I'll get used to it getting back to my normal thing."

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