There was a little game within a game yesterday during Portland’s 111-104 victory over the visiting Thunder. A small battle between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook broke out, and Russ told Blazers coach Terry Stotts that Dame shouldn’t be scared after Wesley Matthews switched to cover Russ on defense. The back-and-forth became an empty gesture, though, when the Blazers got the big win.
First, early in the second half, Russ abused Portland’s second-year point guard in the post, knocking down a fallaway in the paint.
That’s when Stotts switched Wesley Matthews onto Russ, which led to Russ yelling something at the coach before the ensuing possession.
But Matthews forced Russ into a tough fadeaway that he missed.
Unable to let the defensive switch go, Russ passed along some advice to coach Stotts about his talented young point guard.
Russ also got a nice transition layup over Dame towards the end of the game. It kept OKC close after Portland surged to a lead towards the end of the game.
But LaMarcus Aldridge and the Blazers were too much and a late Nicolas Batum three-pointer sealed the win for the Western Conference’s top team…Rip City.
Still, Russ had his say, and it’s something to keep an eye on now that Portland has catapulted to the top of the Western Conference standings. The Blazers and Thunder will battle again this year and the stakes might be even higher. It’ll be interesting to see whether Lillard decides to defend Russ moving forward.
Do you think Dame was shook like Westbrook claimed?
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