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Game 2 Thunder notebook: Coaches calm down Russell Westbrook

BY JOHN ROHDE and BERRY TRAMEL, Staff Writers Published: May 20, 2011

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook had an animated reaction when pulled from Game 2 with :28 remaining in the third quarter against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

Westbrook did not play again and the reserve Eric Maynor finished out the Thunder's 106-100 victory inside American Airlines Center.

Westbrook initially had an exchange with assistant coach Mark Bryant and fellow assistant Maurice Cheeks came over and had a heart-to-heart with the All-Star reserve.

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins also took the 22-year-old Westbrook aside during the game and shared some encouragement. "I had to let him know we're winning, everything's going good," Perkins said. "I think he's fine. I told him, 'Different guys will help at different times.' "

After the game ended, Westbrook was spotted dancing down the tunnel on the way back to the locker room.


On Wednesday, Perkins said of Dallas center Tyson Chandler: "Me and Tyson never got along. He don't like me and I don't like him. That's pretty much how it's been. Everybody always looks at me as kind of a dirty player, if you're on the opposite team. But he's just as dirty as anybody else."

Perkins' remarks added some spice to the first half of Game 2.

With 5:03 left in the first quarter, the Thunder called a 20-second timeout after Chandler had just converted an ally-oop against Perkins for the second straight possession to give the Mavericks a 21-11 lead.

As the players walked to their benches, Chandler screamed some choice words into Perkins' as he walked past. A frustrated Perkins walked away during the Thunder huddle and had to be coaxed back by Bryant.

As OKC players walked back onto the court, Kevin Durant gave Perkins a one-one-one pep talk and pounded his fist into Perkins' chest. Nick Collison then did the same with Perkins.

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