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Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook says no reaction after Magic Johnson rips team’s effort



DENVER — After the Los Angeles Lakers37-point loss to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, the second-biggest defeat of LeBron James‘ 19-year profession, one other franchise nice weighed in along with his disgust.

“We as Lakers followers can settle for being outplayed however we deserve greater than an absence of effort and no sense of urgency,” Magic Johnson tweeted to his 5.1 million followers. “Proprietor Jeanie Buss, you deserve higher.”

James, who had a team-high 25 factors and 9 rebounds however shot 9-for-23 (together with 2-for-8 from 3), exited the world with out talking to reporters. That left Russell Westbrook to be requested about Johnson’s tweet.

“I don’t have a response,” stated Westbrook, who scored 19 factors on 7-for-15 capturing, an enchancment from his current capturing hunch. “Everyone is entitled, on this world, to their opinion. No matter what that it’s. You possibly can both take it and run with it or you possibly can take it and put it in a single ear and out the opposite otherwise you can not reply to it.

“Magic’s entitled to his opinion. And he isn’t right here day by day. He isn’t round us day by day. He isn’t conscious of what is going on on internally with us and making an attempt to determine issues out. However I’ve no response to that. … Like I stated, everybody on this world is entitled to their opinion and that is that.”

Dwight Howard, who began at heart and proved no match for Denver’s reigning MVP, Nikola Jokic (17 factors, 13 assists, 12 rebounds), echoed Westbrook’s sentiments about Johnson. Talking to a small group of reporters as he made his method out of the interview room, Howard stated it was telling that the previous Lakers nice was providing his critique on-line and never in particular person by visiting the staff’s apply facility.

Nevertheless, whereas the 2 objected to Johnson’s methodology of supply, they appeared to agree along with his precise message.

Westbrook too known as out L.A.’s lack of effort, because it was outrebounded 51-41 and allowed the Nuggets to shoot 23-for-40 from 3-point vary.

“We simply obtained to play arduous,” Westbrook stated. “Generally, the schemes and the way you play would not actually matter. You bought to simply play arduous generally. Groups are enjoying more durable than us, easy as that.”

Howard backed up Westbrook.

“It isn’t an excessive amount of I can actually say about it. We have been saying all of it 12 months,” Howard stated. “So I should not must hold saying. However, you understand, he is proper.”

The most important lack of James’ profession got here in his first season with the Lakers when L.A. was smacked by 42 factors by the Indiana Pacers simply earlier than the commerce deadline, with Indiana followers chanting, “LeBron’s going to commerce you” on the Lakers’ younger core.

That season, the Lakers completed 37-45, and James’ 13-year streak of creating the postseason was snapped.

Saturday’s loss was the Lakers’ third in a row, dropping them again beneath .500 at 21-22. In response to information compiled by ESPN Stats & Data, that is the primary time since James’ rookie 12 months that his staff was beneath .500 on the 43-game mark of its season.

“You possibly can’t cease believing that you simply’re gonna win and simply say, ‘Ah, f— it, let’s quit,'” Howard stated. “We all know we have put ourselves in a reasonably powerful predicament, however all it takes is a pair video games and a few good vitality and a few positivity, so simply obtained to remain as optimistic as we will.”

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