Less than 30 seconds left in the first half, and Russell Westbrook was putting on another dazzling performance on New Year’s Eve against Phoenix. The Thunder guard was fighting for everything, including an offensive rebound after a miss with under a minute to play in the first half. He and Alex Len tangled up and both were whistled for technicals, with Kevin Durant also getting one when he came to Westbrook’s aid. Then, the unthinkable happened — Russ got another one less than 30 seconds later and was gone.
Here’s the intial scuffle between Russ and Len for the board:
Totally normal double technical after two players tangle on a rebound. But that was Westbrook’s first and on the ensuing possession, he somehow got another.
Russ splits a high screen and knocks down the runner while getting fouled — which got him to 20 points on the night. But his exuberance in front of the Suns bench leads to another double technical on the Suns AND Russell; Westbrook was gone.
The ejection came at a horrific time since Phoenix is one of those teams the Thunder are trying to catch in the Western Conference after so many games missed by Kevin Durant and Westbrook to open the year and Durant’s recent ankle sprain.
Thankfully for OKC fans, KD came through like an MVP with 44 points, and the Thunder eked out a 137-134 OT win.
(video via Mike Sham)
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