Russell Westbrook: Shane Battier trying to ‘punk me’ led to second half explosion
The Thunder erased a 13-point deficit to come back and beat the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night, and Russell Westbrook’s monster second half was a big reason why. After scoring a modest nine points in the first half, Westbrook went off for 18 in the second. He appeared to be playing with a purpose, and the Thunder guard said his exchange with Shane Battier that you see above is what led to that.
“That’s all I need every once in a while,” Westbrook said after the game according to Yahoo! Sports. “I don’t know what he was thinking. I needed something. We needed something.”
Westbrook finished with nearly a triple-double, as he also added 11 assists and eight rebounds. Durant scored 36, but you could argue that it was Westbrook who was the difference maker in the game.
As for whether or not Battier tried to “punk” him, it doesn’t really appear that way. If anything, it was Westbrook who was acting out of line while Battier was trying to get to the baseline to inbound the ball. But if that’s what it takes for Westbrook to turn into an animal, I’m sure Thunder fans will gladly welcome it.
H/T I Am a GM