Posted April 25, 2013 on AP on Fox
Russell Westbrook slammed his hand on the scorer's table in anger. He had been slowing down to call a timeout when rookie Patrick Beverley came careening in to try for a steal and crashed into Westbrook's knee. Oklahoma City's guard shook off the pain and the Thunder withstood a challenge from an energized Houston Rockets team looking to bounce back from a Game 1 blowout. Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored 29 points apiece, and Oklahoma City recovered after squandering a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead to beat Houston 105-102 on Wednesday night and take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference first-round series. ''It's the playoffs,'' Westbrook said. ''You can't help it. You can't help but get excited.'' Oklahoma City's big lead melted away with nine straight scoreless possessions as the Rockets mixed in a zone defense. James Harden spearheaded a 21-2 Houston comeback by getting into the lane to create his own opportunities, and he also kicked the ball out to set up two 3-pointers by Carlos Delfino. His second 3, from the right wing, provided a 95-91 lead with 3:27 to go. But the Rockets couldn't keep it up. Oklahoma City came back to tie it before Harden knifed to the basket for a layup to give Houston its last lead at 97-95 with 2:42 to play. Durant answered 14 seconds later with a deep 3 from the left wing, and the Thunder wouldn't give up the lead again. Oklahoma City came up with back-to-back stops before Thabo Sefolosha's 3 provided a little breathing room at 101-97. Chandler Parsons, who went tumbling to the court as Sefolosha shot, said Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins prevented him from closing out on the shooter. ''It was obvious what Perkins did to me. He grabbed me with two hands and I couldn't go out there and contest Sefolosha,'' Parsons said. ''It's part of the game.'' Serge Ibaka added a long jumper to make it 103-98 after the Rockets forced Durant to give up the ball. Durant and Kevin Martin, both in the top five in the league in free-throw percentage, both went 1 for 2 at the foul line in the final 12 seconds to give the Rockets one last chance. Houston didn't have any timeouts left after Durant's miss with 1 second left, and Delfino couldn't connect on a desperation shot at the buzzer. ''It's frustrating and it hurts really bad right now,'' said Parsons, who scored 17. ''But you've got to take some positives out of it. It's a long series.'' Game 3 is Saturday night in Houston. Harden finished with 36 points and 11 rebounds, and Beverley had 16 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Houston. The Rockets made up for a 40 percent shooting mark with a 57-40 advantage on the boards and a 50-30 scoring edge in the paint, engineering a massive turnaround after getting blown out 120-91 in Game 1. And they did it without starting point guard Jeremy Lin, who didn't play in the second half because of a muscle contusion in his chest. Lin said X-rays were negative and he could play in Game 3 if spasms stop. ''Our team is a young team and we're not a perfect team by any stretch of the imagination, but they'll fight,'' coach Kevin McHale said. ''They're a bunch of scrappers. They'll go out and fight you for it. So, I knew our team would play well today. That's who they are.'' Beverley moved into the starting lineup as Houston went with a three-guard unit, and it didn't take long for the rookie to get under Westbrook's skin with his lunge for the steal. Later in the half, Beverley knocked Westbrook down on a foul and then reached out to help him up. Westbrook slapped his hand away. ''It's part of basketball, playoff basketball. Everyone wants to go out there and win,'' Beverley said. ''Anyone who knows me, knows my character, that I'm not going to back down from anyone, Russell Westbrook or anybody else.'' Westbrook said he relishes those moments when he gets challenged by an opponent. ''It's fun. During this time of the year, as a team we've got one goal and we can't let nobody get in the way,'' Westbrook said. ''That's how I feel and that's how I want my team to respond as well.'' Another rookie, Greg Smith, drew a technical foul when he jawed at Ibaka after dunking on the NBA's top shot-blocker and Houston was within 57-55 at halftime. Just after Harden's driving throwdown put Houston ahead 63-61, Oklahoma City roared back with Ibaka keying a 13-0 run. He swatted Omer Asik's dunk attempt, hit two free throws and grabbed an offensive rebound that set up Westbrook's three-point play. The Thunder started the fourth quarter with an 11-2 to run to push their lead to 89-74 after Martin's 3-pointer with 9:22 to go. McHale called time out, and the Rockets immediately responded with Beverley's 3-pointer off a set play beginning the comeback. ''We were down 15, we could have just given up the game and said, `Let's go to Game 3,' but we fought back and took the lead,'' Harden said. ''So, we definitely have some confidence going into Game 3 and going back home.'' NOTES: Beverley had not started any games during his rookie season, moving into the rotation midway through the season and playing 41 games. ... After finishing second to Tyson Chandler in last year's voting for NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Ibaka was third this year behind Marc Gasol and LeBron James. Ibaka has led the NBA in total blocks the past three seasons. ''He led the league three years in blocks. I guess that don't mean nothing nowadays,'' frontcourt partner Perkins said. ''At the end of the day, I think he deserves it. He should have won the thing. But it's over with, so we're just going to move on.''
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Russell Westbrook celebrates making shot with “gun holster” celebration

Over the years, NBA players have come up with some pretty interesting celebration and it appears that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook decided to bust out the six-shooters against the Houston Rockets. Watch as Russell drops his fake guns into the holster and drops a noticeable “boom noise” for those lip-readers out there:   *** Westbrook celebrates shot with gun...

Russell Westbrook out with torn meniscus, no timetable for return

Royce Young at Daily Thunder just reported that Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery for a meniscus tear in his knee and is out indefinitely. The injury may have been the result of this collision between Westbrook and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley during the second quarter of Thursday night’s Thunder-Rockets game. Westbrook, who was named...

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook out indefinitely with lateral meniscus tear to his right knee

Russell Westbrook has never missed a game in his NBA career and has played in all 439 game of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s existence… until now. Russ will be out indefinitely following surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee. Westbrook was injured in the second quarter of Game 2 against the Houston Rockets when he banged knees with Rockets’ Patrick Beverley...

OKC's Westbrook out, needs surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook will have surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and be out indefinitely. General manager Sam Presti said Friday that the Thunder had not yet scheduled Westbrook's surgery and would not have an accurate timeline for his return until after the procedure was done. The three-time All-Star was hurt in Game 2 of the...

BREAKING: Russell Westbrook to undergo surgery for right meniscus tear

Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery for a right meniscus tear WOW! The prohibited favorite, Oklahoma City Thunder, may have just had their season wrecked. Sensational  guard, Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery after tearing his meniscus in his right knee. There has been no timetable as of yet, but details are sure to come out over the next few days. Westbrook injured his...

Russell Westbrook To Undergo Surgery For Meniscus Tear

The Oklahoma City Thunder are now going to face some adversity in these playoffs, and it will be interesting to see how they respond. Darnell Mayberry is reporting that star point guard Russell Westbrook will have surgery on his torn Meniscus. Russell Westbrookwill undergo surgery in the coming days to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, the Thunder has announced....

Russell Westbrook to have surgery on torn meniscus, no return date set

Unfortunately for both Russell Westbrook and the Thunder as a whole, he been diagnosed as a torn meniscus. He will be undergoing surgery and there is no timetable set for his return.

Russell Westbrook to have knee surgery, out indefinitely

The Thunder's hopes of returning to the NBA Finals and perhaps besting the Heat in this year's championship round took a major hit Friday. Before tonight's Game Three, it was reported that Russell Westbrook has torn the meniscus in his right knee and will undergo surgery to repair it. The injury could cause him to miss the remainder of the postseason. No timetable has...
GROSS

World Peace shares picture of drained fluid

Tweet   Earlier in the day we found out the unfortunate news that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook would be forced to miss time as he recovers from surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. Metta World Peace took the court against the New Orleans Hornets this month just 12 days after [...]

Did the Spurs' road to the Finals just get easier?

The Spurs once benefited from a hip on their way to a championship. Maybe they do again. Friday's news that Thunder mega-guard Russell Westbrook is headed for the operating table tips the balance of power in the West playoffs south towards the Alamo. Oklahoma City isn't dead, but their title hopes might be. Westbrook will undergo surgery in the coming days to repair a...

Oklahoma City Thunder Fans Know How To Bring It (GIF)

The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Houston Rockets, 105-102, in Game 2 of their Western Conference quarterfinals Wednesday night thanks to a 29-point effort from the tenacious duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. However, that wasn’t the big highlight.  Oh, no. It was this captured image of several Thunder fans going hard; I particularly like [...]The post Oklahoma...

Series moves to Houston with Thunder up 2-0

The Houston Rockets could be without starting point guard Jeremy Lin when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 on Saturday night. The Thunder definitely will be missing their point guard, with All-Star Russell Westbrook out indefinitely with a knee injury that will require surgery. The Rockets hope Lin, who has a bruised chest muscle, can return for the first playoff game...

State of the Series: Oklahoma City Thunder (1) vs. Houston Rockets (8)

Despite one hell of an effort from the Houston Rockets in Game Two, so far business has been taken care of by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder remain seated atop their No. 1 seed throne maintaining home-court advantage by going up 2-0 in the series with their two initial home games. This is obviously a great sign for OKC. Houston showed promise in Game Two as well, though...

Thunder survive Rockets' rally

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 29 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder recovered after squandering a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter to beat the Houston Rockets 105-102 on Wednesday night and take a 2-0 series lead. Durant hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:28 to play, and the Thunder didn't relinquish the lead after that. Durant missed a free throw with...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.