Russell Westbrook reveals inside information helped Rockets snuff out Thunder’s final play
According to Westbrook, he was familiar with the play Thunder head coach Billy Donovan decided to draw up for that key possession in the dying seconds of the matchup:
Russell Westbrook said he knew what to look for on the game's final inbounds play when he jumped out on Gallinari. Said that's a play Billy Donovan had run before
— Adam Spolane (@AdamSpolane) September 3, 2020
Up until last summer, Russell Westbrook was OKC’s cornerstone superstar. He played several years under the tutelage of Donovan, and during that time, his former coach drew up more than a few plays for him in crucial situations. Westbrook used this to his advantage, and it resulted in a game-saving defensive stop for the Rockets.
Much of the credit has to be given to James Harden, though, with the former MVP hustling hard to contest Lu Dort’s three-point attempt, which would have given the Thunder the lead with less than five seconds remaining on the game clock.
Both Harden and Westbrook struggled from the field on Wednesday, however, with the two combining for 13-of-35 from the field and 1-of-11 from distance. The pair still scored 37 points between them, though, but there’s no denying that it was an off shooting night for both guys.
This backcourt pairing has got to be much better now that they have set up a second-round matchup with the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. LA will undeniably be the favorites in that series, but Houston will not go down without a good fight. Mark your calendars: Game 1 is scheduled for Thursday night.