Russell Westbrook loved Patrick Beverley’s reaction in the argument with Suns’ Deandre Ayton

The Los Angeles Lakers showed they can count on each other when Patrick Beverley and Deandre Ayton clash in the 115-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

When Austin Reaves attempted a layup late in the fourth quarter, he was apparently accidentally punched in the face by Suns star Devin Booker. But as Reaves fell to the ground, Deandre Ayton stood over him and stared at him, prompting Patrick Beverley to shove him in the back.

Beverley has been kicked out of the game and is likely to be banned for his behavior. But Russell Westbrook liked the 34-year-old forward’s reaction to Ayton’s behavior Spectrum SportsNet:

“I mean, I personally love it. Protecting yourself and understanding that we are there for each other is the most important thing when you are part of a team.”

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham defended Beverley after the game and said he wants his teammates to have each other’s backs. Similarly, Anthony Davis thought the veteran guard was “doing what he was supposed to be doing” and called Ayton’s provocation “disrespectful.”

Reaves himself said he appreciated Beverley for standing against the center of the sun, adding he would have done the same for him.

Meanwhile, Beverly said he will always protect his teammates. “Especially teammates who I go to war for every night,” he added.

“I kind of felt like after staring down at Austin Reaves, the track kind of got out of control [Devin] A book[er]then another stare down from [DeAndre] Ayton and the umpires didn’t really come in and kinda cut it off so you know I ain’t gonna do that shit.

Thomas Bryant discusses his chemistry with Westbrook dating back to playing for Wizards

Westbrook is sharing the locker room with more familiar faces than last season, when Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant — former Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards teammates respectively — join the Lakers for 2022-23.

Westbrook and Bryant’s familiarity with each other’s game shows during games and helps the center start the season on a high note after missing the first month with a thumb injury.

Bryant has said their chemistry has helped him both on and off the floor. “Oh, absolutely. Absolutely,” he says.

“The chemistry we had there for just that short time was really great and I tried to keep that chemistry going all summer, when I was injured I was still trying to communicate with him and get as much of that as possible to learn from him.”

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