'I'm a hooper' - Westbrook draws praise from Lakers after record-tying triple-double

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LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham were complimentary of Russell Westbrook after he recorded another triple-double to help snap their four-game losing streak on Tuesday.

Westbrook played 29 minutes off the bench, scoring 15 points on six-of-11 shooting while adding 13 rebounds and 13 assists – finishing with a plus/minus of plus 18 as the Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 129-110.

It was his third triple-double off the bench this season, tying three-time All-Star Detlef Schrempf for the most triple-doubles off the bench in NBA history.

Speaking to the media after the win, Westbrook said he is just focused on playing his role.

"I'm a hooper," he said. "I can do anything, anytime, anywhere. I'll continue to do whatever is asked of me until further notice."

James was also terrific, scoring a team-high 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds and five assists.

He told reporters how Westbrook's ability to rebound as an undersized guard is crucial with Anthony Davis set for an extended stint on the sidelines.

"We all have to play a little bit more, and do a little bit more," he said. "Russ has definitely picked up, obviously with the rebounding. We're a team that lacks a lot of size, a lot of length.

"We try to make it up by being fundamentally sound, and also being athletic, and rebounding out of your position.

"Russ has always done that in his career – he's always rebounded outside of his size and length. It was very key for us to get stops, clean the glass and not allow offensive rebounds.

"I know when I'm out on the floor with him I just need to run. When he gets the rebound, and he gets on the break, I have to run with him. He sees pretty much everything that's going on on the floor, so just run and make yourself available.

"Tonight we were against a team that has been playing extremely well – they were winners of their last eight out of nine or something like that.

"They're playing exceptionally well here. They beat Boston twice on their home floor – and we know how great that team is – so it's a good win for us."

When asked if Westbrook's strong play would see him reinserted into the starting lineup, Ham made it clear the starting lineup does not necessarily mean the five best players.

"An NBA lineup has to have balance," he said. "It’s not so much 'can he start' or 'are his starting days over?'

"It’s not about that. It’s about him being able to bring a counter punch, a new extra wave off the bench... I know it’s been hard at times, but kudos to him for doing everything that was asked of him in that role."

Of the Lakers' three back-to-backs this season, James has only played in both legs once. When asked if he will be able to suit up against the Miami Heat on Wednesday, he said "I'll know tomorrow when I get up".