Russ rocks the rim after the alley-oop (0:20)

Russell Westbrook put down a one-handed dunk after throwing it up to him. 0:20.

11:21 AM AST

According to Russell, Darvin Ham's decision to bring him off the bench in L.A.'s preseason finale could have led to his injury.

Following the Lakers' 123-109 loss to the Golden State Warriors in their regular-season opener Tuesday night, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook said he had been doing the same thing for 14 years. I had no idea what to do before. I was trying to find a way to stay warm.

After being limited in the days leading up to the game due to his injury, he was back in the starting lineup and playing with the first unit.

He didn't play much in the exhibition game against the Kings. He said that he wasn't going to risk it in a preseason game, so he chose not to play more.

In 31 minutes against Golden State, he had 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting, 11 rebound, 3 assists, one steal and four turnovers. His minus six rating was better than that of both James and Davis.

He wanted his team to wake up from the beginning.

"You want to start the game off the right way in terms of your energy and being in attack mode, and no one better than him," said Ham. It's what we have and some guys are hurt. Give them a chance to compete at the highest level in the first game. He was solid to me. He was solid to me. I wish I could get back a few things, but I thought he was solid.

He wanted to establish a consistent starting unit before the game.

He said that they don't want to be one of those teams that are swayed by the opponent's start.

He wouldn't commit to sticking with his opening-night starters for the rest of the season.

He said they would see. I'm a day-by- day guy.

After the game, Davis said that the bench role was just experimentation.

He was in the starting group, according to Davis. It was a look at a different rotation.

Since L.A. traded for Westbrook in the summer of 2021, the three players have played together 22 times. Their record went from 11 to 11 after Tuesday's loss. They were encouraged.

Davis thinks they played well. Everybody should be aggressive. At times last year we were playing selfish, like, "Here you take it" Our aggressiveness was taken away by it. At certain times during the game, one of us three was aggressive and it worked out for us.

As James said, "I thought we all played our cards close to the vest." All three of us were efficient from the floor.

Charles didn't think it was the same thing.

At halftime of the broadcast, Charles Barkley said how he felt about Russell Westbrook. I enjoy watching him. I think he's a good man. He needs to be moved by the Lakers. All his joy has been taken away by them. I think the wear and tear on this guy's mind started last year and will continue this year. He's going to get the blame because the Lakers are not a championship contender. The Lakers are not a contender and he needs a fresh start.

He was asked if he has lost joy for the game since he joined the Lakers.

"You know, man, I'm blessed and leaning a lot on my faith, you know what I mean?" When I have God in my corner, I don't really care what happens outside of that. I stay locked in. I can't ask anything else.

I'll keep doing what I'm doing, stay locked in on my craft, and everything else will take care of itself."