OKC Thunder notebook: Russell Westbrook impresses with will to play

by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 3, 2012
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Russell Westbrook's left foot still looked swollen as he slipped off his shower sandals and began to slip on his sock.

But you wouldn't know it by how he played Saturday.

Westbrook scored 25 points in 37 minutes, 42 seconds of action in the Thunder's 97-90 loss to Atlanta. He did it on a gimpy ankle that he sprained less than 48 hours earlier at Orlando.

When he walked out of Amway Center, he walked with an extreme limp, a scene that seemed like he would have no shot at lacing up his sneakers against the Hawks. But the Thunder's point guard was a game-time decision, and he again proved to be a gamer, keeping his consecutive games streak alive and extending it to 283 games.

“I did all right,” Westbrook said. “I could have done a better job of defending and rebounding. I didn't get an opportunity to get no rebounds today. Especially at my position, if I can get loose balls it can lead to fast breaks. The next game, I'm going to do a better job of that.”

After being hard on himself, Westbrook finally did fess up to being proud of himself for playing on.

“Definitely,” Westbrook said. “Our training staff is great here. I just spent the last two days trying to take care of myself and trying to find a way to come out and help my team win. Unfortunately, we couldn't come out with the win.”

THABO SEFOLOSHA PROGRESSING FROM FOOT INJURY

Thabo Sefolosha is now shooting jump shots during practice sessions and in pregame workouts. It's the latest step in his recovery from a right foot injury that the team is still calling soreness but has caused the starting shooting guard to miss the past 18 games.

Previously, Sefolosha was limited to standstill shots from various spots on the floor. He also wore a protective boot on his foot to immobilize it during periods of inactivity to speed the recovery process.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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