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Russell Westbrook ‘Not Worried One Bit’ About Rockets’ Struggles


Russell Westbrook claims to be “encouraged,” this despite Houston having dropped three in a row.

Westbrook and co-star James Harden pointed to the Rockets’ poor defensive effort in a 137-123 loss Sunday night to the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

Luka Doncic torched H-Town for 41 points, six rebounds and 10 assists.

Per The AP:

James Harden was asked what Houston did wrong defensively.

“Everything,” he said. “We allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do from the beginning of the game and when you give a team like that comfort … they gain confidence. And that’s what they did.”

The Mavericks has won five straight, scoring at least 137 in the last three. Houston has lost three straight after winning eight in a row.

“This is a big win. There’s no question about that,” [Rick] Carlisle said. “You come in here, this is a big-time place to play and you’re playing against great players. So our guys deserve credit but this is a process and it’s day by day and week by week and we’ve got to continue to go for daily improvement.”

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Basketball

Russell Westbrook: James Harden’s Greatness ‘Not Normal’


Russell Westbrook doesn’t want anyone to make the mistake of normalizing Rockets teammate James Harden‘s singular greatness.

Westbrook, who finished with a 28-point, 13-rebound, 10-assist triple-double Monday, says Harden is “one of the best offensive scorers of all time.”

Harden scored just 36 points in Houston’s 132-108 win, a “subpar night” for the NBA’s leading scorer (39.2 PPG) according to Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts.

Per ESPN:

“I think that a lot of people like to normalize greatness when you see it over and over again, but it’s not normal because there’s nobody else that can do it,” said Rockets guard Russell Westbrook. “If it was normal, everybody would do it.

“He’s put himself in position to be one of the best offensive scorers of all time because of the way that he’s able to score the ball at a high level in a variety of ways.”

He averaged 36.1 points per game last season, the most by anyone in the NBA since Michael Jordan averaged 37.1 in 1986-87.

“I don’t care about that. I just want to win games,” said Harden, who had six rebounds and five assists in the win over the Blazers. “Tonight, just shooting my shots. Last game, I took 41 shots, but we had six guys on the injured reserve list. So it’s whatever it takes to win at this point. That’s what I go out there and do every single night.”

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