Russell Westbrook did something no Laker has done since Kobe Bryant on Friday.
Westbrook poured in 30 points in the second half, giving him the first 30-point half by a Laker since Bryant did it in his famous 60-point final game back in 2016. It wasn’t enough to fuel Los Angeles to victory, however, as the Lakers lost 117-114 to Charlotte.
The first half was much more of a slow burn for Westbrook, who scored just five points over the first 24 minutes. The Lakers, who were without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, suffered as a result and went into halftime down by 16.
Los Angeles flipped the script in the third, clawing back from as big as a 20-point deficit to end the third trailing only by two. Westbrook scored 14 points in the third and dished out three assists, and at one point cut the deficit to one with a nice and-one layup.
Westbrook sat for the first few minutes heading into the fourth, but checked back in before long and started making a difference — especially down the stretch. He had eight points in the fourth with just over two minutes left, then went nuclear.
With two minutes left, he made a layup. The next time down, he drilled a three with 1:22 left. Then after the clock went under a minute, he got a screen, set his feet, and nailed a deep pull-up three to make it a one-possession game and send Hornets owner Michael Jordan into a worried expression.