Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook turned the page after benching with a strong play in the win

ORLANDO — Russell Westbrook made up for his unceremonial exit from Wednesday’s loss to Indiana by being ready to play in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 116-105 win over the Magic on Friday and start his six-game road trip off right.

“My job as a player, as a pro, is to do my job and continue to find ways to contribute to the win,” Westbrook said after finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three steals. “That’s all I thought about and turned the page, and that’s what I tried tonight.”

Lakers coach Frank Vogel, who made the decision to sit Westbrook out for the final four minutes of the loss to the Pacers when the point guard struggled through a 5-for-17 shooting night and failed to execute defensively, was in his praise exuberant on Friday.

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“Russ played a really good game of basketball,” Vogel said. “He was very focused, played efficiently offensively and brought pure energy into the game. He just wanted to get his way, play his part and he did a damn good game.”

The Lakers fell behind the basement-dwelling Magic (8-39) at 10 but took control in the third with a 21-4 run to start the quarter.

While Westbrook, shooting 8 for 17, extended his streak to 10 straight games without scoring 20 or more points — the first time that has happened to him since 2009, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information — but he’s got it managed a difference with the nature of these points.

“His attacks are great,” said LeBron James, who scored 29 points and extended his streak to 16 straight games with 25 points or more. “I thought he did a great job getting to the paint, either for his shot or the spray out [to shooters]. And the guys just played with his energy and commitment tonight.”

Carmelo Anthony, who scored 23 points off the bench, credited Westbrook with playing at a “rather controlled pace.” Westbrook said his color touches — either from drives or clipping the ball to get feeds near the hoop — are a clear way to help the Lakers, who are back at .500 (23-23) with the win.

“Just getting into the paint and finding ways to make an impact with it,” he said. “Constantly pressuring the defense is something I’m good at and I think I can make a difference with this team and find ways to give the guys easy shots.”

It was refreshing to hear how Westbrook’s post-game comments focused on the ins and outs of the actual game and didn’t focus on his overall fitness or the course of the Lakers season, as has happened so often since he moved to LA has come

“Russ is a characterful guy,” said Vogel. “We knew we would react. We communicated afterwards to make sure we understood what was going on – we’re just training to win the game. And to turn the page to Orlando. And he’s done a great job with that focus and we’re all committed to getting that group to get the job done. We still believe in what we can be. It’s been bumpy throughout the year. But we are committed.”

LA continues its longest road trip of the season in Miami on Sunday and then heads to Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta.

“We started with a win tonight,” said Westbrook. “Go to Miami and find out how we can win there too.

“But it’s a big journey for us. Finding a good bonding and togetherness journey for our group and finding ways to come together and get some wins and create some rhythm, some faith in our group that we can be the team we all know we should be. “

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