It took until the final quarter of the series’ final game, but Rockets guard Patrick Beverley and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook got into the skirmish everyone had been waiting for.
With 7:24 left in the Rockets 105-99 game 5 win Tuesday night at Toyota Center, Westbrook fouled Beverley after he stole a pass from Thunder guard Victor Oladipo. The two players had words on their way to the other end of the floor, at which point official Marc Davis whistled them both for technical fouls. After the game, both players recalled what was said.
“He looked up and said ‘no one can guard me, I got 40-points,” Beverley recounted as he looked down at the box score in front of him. “I’m like ‘that’s nice’, he took 34 shots to get it.”
As the reporters in the room laughed and Rockets media relations director Tracey Hughes shook her head, Beverley continued.
“I’m not up here trying to bash anybody, but men lie, women lie, but the numbers don’t. Collectively as a unit, we did a great job on him, we tried to make him shoot a lot of tough shots, and the numbers show.”
Westbrook shot 15-of-34 for the game, and shot 39 percent for the series, averaging over 37 points, but his version of what went down differed from Beverley’s.
“(Beverley) was talking about how he was first team all defense, but I didn’t know what the hell he was talking about cause I had 42 (points) at the time,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know what he’s talking about, maybe he was dreaming or some shit, I don’t know.”
The Beverley, Westbrook rivalry goes back to the 2013 playoffs when Beverley attempted to steal the ball from Westbrook as he was going to the sideline to call timeout. Westbrook tore his meniscus on the play and missed the remainder of that season’s playoffs, and after he apologized for swearing, an infraction that cost him $25,000 dollars after game two, Westbrook continued.
“I don’t know what he’s talking about, I guess he wants to be first team all defense, or something. Maybe he was dreaming about it.”