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Lakers’ LeBron James doesn’t want Russell Westbrook to be hard on himself after debut vs. Warriors

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The Los Angeles Lakers had a fourth-quarter collapse against the Golden State Warriors in Tuesday’s regular-season opener.

Despite LeBron James and Anthony Davis combining for 67 points, no other Laker managed to hit double-digit scoring figures.

Much of the fingers pointed at Russell Westbrook. The Lakers acquired him to be the third star, but his lackluster performance gave NBA Twitter and critics plenty of fuel to analyze his game.

Westbrook put up eight points on 4-of-13 shooting in 35 minutes of action. His off-ball defense faltered, and he lacked his usual aggressiveness when attacking the paint.

After the game, James emphasized how it’s just first-game jitters for the L.A. native, and things will get better for the former league MVP.

“I just don’t want him to be so hard on himself. That was the one thing that I hoped to get through to him, don’t be so hard on himself,” James said. “Go home and you’re going to see three babies that he has that might be asleep, but they’ll put a smile on his face. He has a beautiful wife and family. So, at the end of the day, you go home and you’re really like, ‘OK, that was not that bad. It’s really not that bad.'”

The Lakers next play the Phoenix Suns on Friday, Oct. 22. After facing Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole, Westbrook will match up against Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

The Suns posted strong defensive numbers last year and kept the main core intact for this season. Westbrook could be in for another rough game, but the Lakers must hope it isn’t as bad as his debut.

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Lakers player grades from regular-season opener loss vs. Warriors

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