Kevin Durant Downplays Shouting Match With Russell Westbrook

by April 27, 2011

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

In Game 4 of the OKC Thunder/Denver Nuggets first round series, Russell Westbrook put up a staggering 30 shots. The explosive point guard only connected on 12 of them, and missed the biggest shot of the night in the game’s dying moments.

Westbrook’s superstar teammate, Kevin Durant, and head coach Scott Brooks were less than thrilled with the reckless shooting.

They were mostly displeased with the shot selection — as the point guard settled for far too many jumpers — and not so much the amount of attempts.

The Oklahoman looks into the matter:

Midway through the first half of Monday’s Game 4 loss at Denver, the Thunder’s All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook reportedly had a heated exchange during a timeout. TNT sideline reporter Pam Oliver reported the verbal dispute during the game. On Tuesday, the Thunder insisted the jawing was positive.

“It was all about trying to do the right thing,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We got to get a stop. That’s what it was about. We got to stop the ball. Their point guards are getting inside the paint. The bigs and the guards have got to do a better job of stopping the basketball. That’s what the conversation was about. It’s funny because it’s in the playoffs on national TV, but it happens a lot. It doesn’t happen every timeout every game. But guys are emotional. Guys care about what we do and they express that and I like that. I do the same thing.”

Durant also downplayed the incident. “We’ve been doing that all season,” Durant said. “That’s a part of a basketball team. You’re not going to always be happy all the time. … Sometimes you have to scream at guys for them to get the point. That’s what we were doing.”

The OKC Thunder remain in control of the series, as they’ll look to close it out tonight at home.

Judging strictly by their reactions following the incident, one suspects that this very public bump in the road will bring Durant, Westbrook and their teammates closer together, which can only mean bad news for Denver and the rest of the League.