Westbrook scores 32, tussles with Beverley as Thunder roll
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By CLIFF BRUNT
Westbrook scored 32 points and had another run-in with Beverley during the Oklahoma City Thunder's 128-110 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
The Thunder outscored the Clippers 39-10 in the third quarter, and Westbrook and Beverley provided the only drama in the fourth. Beverley dove at a dribbling Westbrook and made contact just above Westbrook's left knee, and both were issued technicals after jawing in front of the benches. Police officers stepped onto the court to help keep the teams separated. Upon review, Beverley's foul was ruled a flagrant 1.
There's plenty of history between the two. Westbrook tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee during the playoffs in 2013 when Beverley, then playing for the Houston Rockets, lunged for the ball as Westbrook prepared to call timeout. Westbrook missed the rest of the playoffs and part of the next season. In March 2014, the first time the two played again, Beverley swiped the ball away from Westbrook after a timeout and drew a technical, and Beverley and Westbrook had to be separated.
Westbrook has had a history of knee problems. He had a procedure on his right knee that cost him the preseason and the first two games of the regular season.
He didn't directly address Beverley's action on Tuesday.
"I have no comment on it," Westbrook said. "I just know that we won."
Beverley felt like he did nothing wrong, and said his reputation plays a role in the calls he gets.
"I feel like I went for a loose ball," he said. "I don't know. I don't know. I went for a loose ball and the ref looked at it on tape and felt like it was a flagrant, and I've got to accept it."
Westbrook was animated throughout the game. On several occasions, he pretended to rock a baby to sleep. Though Westbrook and his wife have twin girls on the way, it turns out the motion wasn't about them.
"Yeah, you got little kids," Westbrook said. "You got to put them to sleep. You got little kids on you, that's what happens. Little guards."
Paul George had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Steven Adams had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Dennis Schroder added 15 points for the Thunder. Oklahoma City won its second straight after four losses to start the season.
The Clippers shot 55 percent in the first half to take a 67-54 lead.
The Thunder opened the second half on an 8-2 run to trim the Clippers' lead to 69-62 before a timeout. Oklahoma City continued the surge, and a 3-pointer by Jerami Grant finally gave the Thunder a 70-69 lead. Oklahoma City extended the run to 23-2 and took a 77-69 lead.
The Thunder led 93-77 at the end of the third quarter. They shot 70 from the field in the period while holding Los Angeles to 24 percent shooting.
Clippers: Defeated the Thunder 108-92 on Nov. 19. ... Gallinari was called for a technical in the first quarter, and Marcin Gortat and Avery Bradley were called for techs in the second quarter. ... Mike Scott hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer.
Thunder: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, native Kristin Chenoweth sang the national anthem. She won a Tony Award in 1999 and an Emmy in 2009. ... Thunder coach Billy Donovan was called for a technical in the first quarter.
Oklahoma City had its best 3-point shooting game of the season, making 9 of 17 after entering the night with the worst percentage in the league.
"As long as we defend and score and put the ball in the basket, I don't care if it's two or three, it don't really matter," Westbrook said. "That's for y'all and the analytics teams and all that."
Paul George on Westbrook: "Russ don't really like nobody. He's that fiery no matter who's matched up against him. It just doesn't make it any better if it's Pat out there."
Clippers are at the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
Thunder are at the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.
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Updated October 31, 2018