LeBron James scored his 46th point with 6:46 left on the game clock as the Los Angeles Lakers managed to trim what was a 23-point lead in the second half against the Clippers on Tuesday into a 10-point deficit.
James would fail to score again and would be subbed out less than two minutes later. The Clippers erased all the headway the LA had made, starting with this all-timer of a bad beat between Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder.
The Lakers went from being able to cut the lead to single digits for the first time in the second half, to giving up a turnover from their own baseline that led to a Kawhi Leonard And-1.
Ladies and gentlemen, Russell Westbrook and Dennis Schroder pic.twitter.com/0dVqrwXGHP
— Brono$ (@Fire_Westbrook) January 25, 2023
Westbrook was asked about that moment where he and Schroder got “crossed up” during the Lakers presser and safe to stay he wasn’t as open to discussing it, as you can imagine.
“What do you mean crossed up? How were we crossed up?” asked Russell Westbrook.
You were trying to get the ball inbounds.
“How was that a cross up?”
I mean, the turnover wasn’t the goal of the play.
“Well, it was a cross-up then. You said it was a cross-up, so what was the cross-up? … It was a five-man play. It wasn’t between me and Dennis,” the Lakers guard answered.
Russell Westbrook did not like a question about what happened on the inbounds play between him and Dennis Schroder that led to a turnover and all but ended the Lakers chances of hanging in the game:pic.twitter.com/k7BZykzmud
— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) January 25, 2023
Westbrook also answered with a definitive “no” when asked whether that sequence – which sparked an 8-0 Clippers run – stunted their momentum at all. He and Schroder were also seen having a lively conversation shortly after that moment.
LeBron looking absolutely defeated on the bench as Westbrook and Schroder have an animated discussion pic.twitter.com/Gy9dafGuSY
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) January 25, 2023
One mistake doesn’t define an entire game, but it’s hard to deny that it was certainly a turning point in the game that soon after led to Lakers coach Darvin Ham waiving the white flag.