Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook was benched at the tail end of a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. It was another tough moment amid a season of struggles, with a 5-of-17 shooting performance.
Westbrook played far better Friday in a 116-105 road win over the Orlando Magic, though, scoring 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, dished seven assists and had three steals.
After the game, Lakers forward LeBron James commented on his teammate's bounce-back performance:
On Wednesday, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was clear about why he benched Westbrook, telling reporters that he was "playing the guys that I thought were going to win the game."
That didn't happen against Indiana, but the Lakers looked far better Friday, albeit against a team with the worst record in the NBA at 8-39. They outscored Orlando 62-43 in the second half en route to an 11-point win that moved them to 23-23.
L.A. will stay in Florida to visit the Miami Heat on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET in hopes of getting back over .500.