Frank Vogel Hopes Russell Westbrook Will ‘Play Better’ After Getting Benched In OT Against The Knicks

The Los Angeles Lakers rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to force overtime and knock off the New York Knicks on Saturday night, 122-115. The trio of Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Malik Monk came up huge for L.A., while Russell Westbrook struggled mightily. The former league MVP scored five points on 1-for-10 shooting with six assists, four rebounds, and four turnovers in 29 minutes of action. At one point, he missed a jumper and got showered with boos by fans.

While Westbrook continued to play during regulation, Lakers coach Frank Vogel decided the best plan for overtime was to leave him on the bench. It ended up working out for the team, as L.A. outscored New York during the extra frame, 11-4.

After the game, Vogel was asked about his decision and expressed his hope that Westbrook takes this as a form of motivation.

“Well, there’s nothing wrong with any player, if someone’s not playing well enough where they don’t get to close the game out, there’s nothing wrong with giving somebody else that you feel is going to give you a better chance, giving them that opportunity,” Vogel said, per Sanjesh Singh of LeBron Wire. “And hopefully the response is that player plays better. That’s the hope.”

As for Westbrook, while he watched the end of the game from the sideline, he’s happy with how the game turned out.

“The best part of this game is that you win,” Westbrook said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Guys competed. We won the game and that’s all that matters.”