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Observational nuggets from the Thunder's 98-89 win against the Jazz

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This blog on the Thunder's 98-89 win against the Jazz is an homage to those who came before me.

-Good road trip for the Thunder to go 2-2 considering Paul George isn’t playing like superhuman Paul George (at least on offense. See below).

But first...

-The fans and Russell Westbrook. I wasn’t at the arena, but both Westbrook, Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton claimed a couple told Westbrook to “get on your knees like you’re used to.” Then there’s the video of Westbrook telling some Jazz fans “I’ll f*** you up.” Maddie Lee and I discussed it at length on the podcast, which you can listen to here

Here’s Westbrook’s explanation:


And the explanation of the fan, Shane Keisel:


-As someone who’s seen numerous road games and sat close to the Thunder’s bench, I can attest that Westbrook gets yelled at constantly. Most of it is clean heckling. Westbrook even embraces it, laughing and having fun with fans who like to poke at him. I could be convinced Keisel and Westbrook probably started the back-and-forth as a fun thing which escalated.

-Westbrook felt the comments were racial and had multiple teammates vouch for him. From personal experience, there are times when black people and white people get to joking. It can be good-natured to start. Then, there’s a very fine line, a breaking point you could call it, where something is said that strikes a nerve. As a black person, you don’t know if it was intentional, sheer ignorance, or what, but it’s 100-percent uncomfortable and digs at the core of your humanity. Suddenly, you don’t feel like joking anymore. Even if I haven't reacted like Westbrook did, I’ve felt the emotion of Westbrook and wanted to react. It’s a unique, painful, frustrating feeling.

-Players should have discretion. You can’t say you’re going to f*** somebody up, regardless of what a fan says, regardless of race or gender. Westbrook can't do that.

-Fans should not be able to say what they want to players. Hell, no one should say “get on your knees like you’re used to” to anyone. No one should imply or demand someone should be subservient to another person. If what Keisel and his wife said is true, you definitely shouldn’t say that to a black person, who on a minute-to-minute basis bears the weight of hundreds of years of documented and undocumented racial oppression and injustice. If Keisel or his wife don’t understand that, they need to take a good long, introspective look after Monday night and the evisceration they're taking on social media. Most importantly, if what they said is true, I hope the people in their social circles tell them what they did isn't right. Westbrook standing up for himself ultimately isn't going to make Keisel and his wife reflect on the inhumanity of what they allegedly said. What will are people they respect (because Keisel certainly doesn't respect Westbrook and hasn't for a while) calling them out on their inhumane behavior.

-What this amounts to is a big case of he said/he said. The Thunder has three people who claim one thing was said. The video circulating has Westbrook unquestionably making a threat. But, again, Westbrook has fan interactions ALL THE TIME and I've never seen him react that way because what was being said to him was generally harmless – about free throws or jump shots, not an attack on his dignity. It must have taken something drastic for him to pop off in such a manner. And frankly it doesn't matter what the people around Keisel or Keisel himself thought of the severity of what he said. If Westbrook thought it was enough to be that upset about, that's what matters.

Now, basketball?

-GAME BALL: Dennis Schroder. Did anyone on the Thunder need a good game more than Schroder?

-Schroder’s offense (24 points on 10-of-18 shooting) ... Was much better and diversified. The floater got it started. Multiple times, Schroder worked to get his defender on his backside and was able to navigate for a bucket or floater.


If guards are going to go underneath the screen, Schroder has to make them pay. Donovan Mitchell went under twice in the third quarter.

Since he’s small, Schroder gets his shot blocked frequently when driving. But he can’t settle. Good on him for remaining aggressive, something he alluded to on his Instagram on Sunday, because if George is going to continue to struggle offensively, Schroder needs to step up.

George’s impact. George is healthy enough to play, but certainly not at the level he was at pre-All-Star break and pre-right shoulder soreness. He is clearly showing the effects of the injury, as he’s shot just 22-of-72 (30.6 percent in his last four games). But George wasn’t shooting well before he suffered the injury against Denver on Feb. 26 and missed the next three games.

What’s been missing just as much as George’s shooting efficiency post-All-Star break is his invaluable comfort on defensive. He hasn’t been terrible, but you could see when he returned from his three-game absence he initially was thinking about contact.

Sometimes that aggressiveness gets George in foul trouble (see: vs. Clippers, even early on Monday in Utah). But when George is under control, anticipating the next move of his opponent and able to stick his body into pick-and-roll defense without regard, he’s one of the most impactful defenders in the NBA.

On Monday, he was back. George put on a master class of on-ball, off-ball and help defense. He picked up some careless fouls, but otherwise destroyed Jazz possessions by himself and in rotation.

George tilted the game heavily in the Thunder’s favor with three steals on three consecutive defensive possessions in the second quarter.

Outstanding on Joe Ingles:


Not quitting on a play: A deflection and steal on Crowder:


George knows Mitchell and Utah like to go cross court to the weakside for a 3 when the Jazz sees the help sink in in pick-and-roll. George, the backside help, has enough length and anticipatory skill to bait Mitchell into this pass (Also, note the work Steven Adams does to show to Mitchell and Terrance Ferguson does to not quit and work back to the ball. Both have hands high).


Throughout, George showed his defensive versatility:

At the rim: Great post defense by George with a size/strength disadvantage on Favors.


This is wonderful, as clean as you can ask a player with four fouls to defend on-ball.


I mean, come on.


That doesn’t count the numerous times he simply denied Ingles (2-of-9) any clean looks.

When he’s playing defense like he did Monday, he buys valuable extra possessions and showcase why he’s one of the few in the conversation for Defensive Player of the Year. If the Thunder is going anywhere, George has to get back to his efficient best on offense. George is the pulse of the Thunder’s defense, too.

Other stuff:

-Tremendous team defensive effort by the Thunder. The one thing you could probably nitpick the Thunder was the number of threes Utah was able to get off. Utah shot 21 in the first half, 43 overall. But some of that is the Thunder’s guards probably doing some of their best work all season in denying the paint.

But the effort was there from the onset, something that hasn’t happened for the Thunder early in games defensively in 2019.

With the defense scrambled, great effort by all involved in what could have resulted in a 3-pointer for Kyle Korver.


A seamless Ferguson-Grant switch ending with Grant contesting Mitchell’s pull-up 3.


-The Jazz didn’t hit its first 3-pointer until 2:54 left in the first quarter.

-Non-George Positives: The Thunder went on a 7-0 run when George went off with 5:39 left in the first quarter. The second unit continues to play well, with stable defensive performances from Nerlens Noel and Abdel Nader.

-Grant and Adams did a job on Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors. Gobert and Favors have killed the Thunder, particularly Favors in the last meeting as he tiptoed that baseline for easy buckets as the backside help had to collapse inside. But the Thunder duo outscored them 24-20.

-Morris Watch: There was a Patterson sighting at the start of the fourth quarter, his first minutes since the Thunder’s loss to the Sixers on Feb. 28. The bigger concern is Markieff Morris was ruled doubtful to return with neck soreness after he missed nearly two months of the season with a neck injury. Something to monitor, as Morris was starting to find a good rhythm in the second unit.

Billy Donovan said Morris was dealing with the soreness before the game and wanted to give it a shot and play, but didn’t feel great coming out of halftime. Donovan also said it was related to the previous neck injury Morris suffered. Not good.

-Ferguson Watch: Just as concerning was Donovan saying Ferguson didn’t finish the game due to what the Thunder called “concussion-like symptoms.” If Ferguson enters concussion protocol, this will be his third diagnosed concussion since March of last season. That’s serious.

The Thunder can’t afford to lose Ferguson’s defense, as he was superb on Mitchell on Monday and has been excellent all season, but Ferguson’s long-term health has to be the priority. If Ferguson enters concussion protocol, don’t count on him playing Wednesday vs. Brooklyn or Thursday at Indiana. Even Saturday vs. Golden State may be a long shot. This would be the second time Ferguson has been placed into the NBA’s concussion protocol this season.

-What was Westbrook supposed to do without Ricky Rubio to battle? Rubio missed the game with a hip injury.

-Westbrook was good. Despite his absurd, ill-advised 3-point shot late – yes his 28-footer went in with eight on the shot clock, but it was a terrible decision – Westbrook made shots. It was his fourth consecutive game shooting 47 percent or better. I thought he managed the game well considering George was clearly struggling.

-He even had some highlight defensive possessions. At 82-74, his defense on Gobert was inspiring. This was pretty special from Westbrook with a deflection and a straight-up block which led to a Schroder basket.


-Said Schroder: “It was a big moment. Russ never stopped playing. He’s always competing. Didn’t give up on that play.”

Off-ball movement. Ferguson is really struggling from 3-point range again. So, if Ferguson isn’t going to make his 3-pointers, good on him to get moving off ball.

-A reason the Thunder might be in trouble come the postseason: As good as its defense can be, it won’t be able to outscore teams if its defense gets negated by the whistle. The NBA officiates the game in a way where physicality is discouraged. The Thunder defends with physicality. Where it gets popped on defense more often than not is not being able to contain the ball, i.e. opposing point guards in pick-and-roll.

So, if Ferguson is getting tagged with a personal foul fighting for position and doing his job like the play below, how can the Thunder overcome that?


So, the Thunder has to do the best it can to curb the fouling. It did Monday.

-Said Donovan: “I felt like the last two games against Portland and against the Clippers we’ve defended really well, but we fouled way too much. I thought our fouling tonight was much better in terms of the silly fouls away from the ball, a guy not involved in the play trying to be aggressive.”

-Next up: The Thunder faces Brooklyn at home on Wednesday on the first night of a back-to-back (at Indiana on Thursday).

Related Photos
CORRECTS DATELINE TO SALT LAKE CITY INSTEAD OF KEARNS, UTAH - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

CORRECTS DATELINE TO SALT LAKE CITY INSTEAD OF KEARNS, UTAH - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2286023dd4b879a7295a31743379785d.jpg" alt="Photo - CORRECTS DATELINE TO SALT LAKE CITY INSTEAD OF KEARNS, UTAH - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="CORRECTS DATELINE TO SALT LAKE CITY INSTEAD OF KEARNS, UTAH - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>CORRECTS DATELINE TO SALT LAKE CITY INSTEAD OF KEARNS, UTAH - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-55c24e97aba893fb07cd0a005ccfc3cc.jpg" alt="Photo - Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder's Markieff Morris (5) and Abdel Nader (11) defend in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder's Markieff Morris (5) and Abdel Nader (11) defend in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder's Markieff Morris (5) and Abdel Nader (11) defend in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0769b2c04ce355ace14899c51b3a7f4e.jpg" alt="Photo - Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, bottom, battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder's Abdel Nader, right, and Markieff Morris, top, in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, bottom, battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder's Abdel Nader, right, and Markieff Morris, top, in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, bottom, battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder's Abdel Nader, right, and Markieff Morris, top, in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3ff1104eaf66ed865001c46e5a0d47c8.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, picks up the ball as Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder, right, looks on in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-331c825c1847fd6ec041fb8b1627169c.jpg" alt="Photo - Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, rear, battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, rear, battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, rear, battles for the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f8aab11009b1baa683d4a3e41eec3fe7.jpg" alt="Photo - Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, right, battles for the ball with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, right, battles for the ball with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, right, battles for the ball with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Abdel Nader (11) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0dac6bb444f1c7fbab71b34cbe396bc8.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, left, defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, left, defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, left, defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d6f5e6446e5a2c1c536baf44ac1c166b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams (12) and Terrance Ferguson (23) guard Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams (12) and Terrance Ferguson (23) guard Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder's Steven Adams (12) and Terrance Ferguson (23) guard Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-73c5893851d74c0d3c986c631bf4ae0b.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) guards against Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) guards against Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) guards against Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2873abb6a7db53ff96943abaaa53d828.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, left, defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, left, defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale, left, defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5f6bf8f69ca671cc4975a7266f850c55.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, left, and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, right, battle for the ball in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, left, and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, right, battle for the ball in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, left, and Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, right, battle for the ball in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3e0ecc7df4962921f9b6dee144f0dfad.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) shoots as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) shoots as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) shoots as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends in the first half during an NBA basketball game Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-516f4018e60d85be3491f12f3eada2e9.jpg" alt="Photo - Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) guards Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) guards Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) guards Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-810d6ab0e2f28c4bed804b47350413b9.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after a teammate scores against the Utah Jazz in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after a teammate scores against the Utah Jazz in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after a teammate scores against the Utah Jazz in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-466305c0c0447af016fd27636482f623.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) shoots as Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) defends in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) shoots as Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) defends in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) shoots as Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) defends in the second half during an NBA basketball game, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c4d99aa9649b2affd8d5d9b10f153b30.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shouts to his team in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shouts to his team in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shouts to his team in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b832c1a5a887146b5d1eaffde74b040f.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) waves to the crowd as he leaves the court following an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) waves to the crowd as he leaves the court following an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) waves to the crowd as he leaves the court following an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Monday, March 11, 2019, in Kearns, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)</figcaption></figure>
Erik Horne

Erik Horne is in his fourth season on the Thunder beat. Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013 following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The... Read more ›

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