The NBA Playoffs set the stage for the best basketball played around the world, with the competition level soaring to new heights to capture an NBA championship. It is during these game-by-game scenarios where wins and losses are truly emphasized, with difficult conversations after tough losses.
Sunday provided another premiere stage for the NBA Playoffs, with four games going on during the final day of the weekend. Game 4 between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets was one of the more intriguing matchups, with MVP candidate Russell Westbrook attempting to tie the series.
When it was all said and done, James Harden and the Rockets escaped with an 113-109 victory, in a heartbreaking and hard fought contest by both teams. The Thunder were able to make a late rally, with a mental lapse by Jerami Grant allowing the Rockets to ice the contest.
Although Westbrook posted 35 points, 14 rebounds, 14 assists and three steals, his team had to deal with another stinging defeat. The Thunder were able to bring the lead down to a single point, when Steven Adams followed an intentionally missed free throw and found Westbrook for a three-pointer. However, Grant’s foul on Nene, which would result in a three-point play, allowed the Rockets to extend the lead to four points.
After the contest, Westbrook and Adams sat at the podium and took questions from the media, with one particular one getting on Westbrook’s nerves. The motive of the question had to do with asking the Thunder about the lack of production outside of Westbrook. The UCLA alumnus then furiously responded by saying that he doesn’t want to hear any questions separating himself from his teammates because the entire group is in this together.
When Westbrook elected to re-sign with the Thunder, it solidified his faith in the franchise, as the clear-cut leader of this team. He historically ended the season by averaging a triple-double, a feat only done by Oscar Robertson.
The Thunder now travels to the Toyota Center, down 3-1 and on the road against the Rockets. Now in a must-win situation, expect to see an explosive response by Westbrook and his teammates.