Westbrook goes on rant defending Thunder teammates

"He was unbelievable in all facets".

An otherwise drama-filled playoff game concluded with both teams making dumb mistakes as the Rockets took a 3-1 series lead over their conference rivals.

Celtics: Thomas was just 1 of 9 on 3-pointers but made 12 of 13 free throws.

Nene hit the free throw to keep it a two-possession game, all but putting the game away.

"It's no shock to me, just because that mid-range is automatic for him", Thunder forward Doug McDermott, who also joined the Thunder in the trade with Chicago, said.

But James answered with the go-ahead 3-pointer and Cleveland sealed the win on James' free throw with 1 second left. "Just got to stay with it and play the game as it flows to me".

Dwyane Wade scored 18 points and Jimmy Butler chipped in 14 for Chicago, but the Bulls offense looked stagnant without point guard Rajon Rondo, who is sidelined indefinitely with a broken thumb.

Washington coach Scott Brooks said before traveling to Atlanta on Friday that Mahinmi's strained left calf was re-evaluated and has improved but he "definitely won't play the next few games".

"One of the biggest adjustments is, we probably won't be able to play through the post so much", Paul explained after the game how different the Clippers' offence will be without Griffin. The guys doing battle alongside Westbrook won't see most of the follow-up reactions to Westbrook's rant, but they'll certainly be aware of their comrade going on a tirade about how he should be judged the same as they are.

Westbrook is averaging a triple-double for the series with 35 points, 11.3 rebounds and 10.3 assists per game.

I don't want nobody to try to split us.

"I don't give a (expletive) about the line", he said. Regardless of if I go to the bench and Steven is on the floor or if I'm off the floor. Don't try and split us up. "We want to come in and focus and, really, try to take their heart".

By no means am I blaming Russell Westbrook for this loss, nor am I saying his teammates' numbers are good enough when you're down a game in the playoffs. And once again, the Thunder were atrocious when he was on the bench, losing the nine non-Westbrook minutes by 18 points. Last night, Harden had five turnovers in the first quarter, and the Rockets found themselves down by double digits early in the game. Wilt Chamberlain did it in four consecutive games in 1967.

It didn't work, and the Rockets head back home with a chance to finish off the series.

Harden had a woeful shooting night, going 5-of-16 from the field and 0-of-7 from long range.

The Thunder were in great position - foul immediately, stop the clock, and, at worst, they'd trail by three with the ball and the shot clock off.

NOTES: Houston C Nene's 12-for-12 field-goal performance tied the playoff record set by Kansas City-Omaha Kings F/C Larry McNeill, who was 12-for-12 in a 1975 game. Video shows Beverley falling in front of the fan in the first half, then getting up and pointing at him before teammate Nene redirects him.

James considered the milestones a footnote on a day the Cavs blew a 13-point lead and allowed the Pacers to come all the way back and take a 102-100 lead with 1:31 to go. Houston SG Eric Gordon was called for a technical foul in the second quarter after arguing for a foul after a made layup.

This makes it two straight games where the Rockets opened up playing lethargic and careless with the ball.

  • Leroy Wright