Toward the end of Wednesday's loss in Portland, after another hard fall, Russell Westbrook was noticeably limping.
Then, two days later in New Orleans, he missed shootaround with an illness.
Among the Thunder masses, with Westbrook's two offseason knee surgeries still fresh in mind, there seemed a sprouting seed of concern.
Consider it squashed, thanks to his best back-to-back performances of the season, culminating in a near triple-double during Sunday night's dominant 118-94 throttling of the NBA-best 18-3 Indiana Pacers.
“Best game of the season,” teammate Kendrick Perkins said of Westbrook. “I ain't just talking about his scoring or what he did close to a triple-double. I'm talking about he was all over the place, digging, getting back to his man, running people off the three, jumping in the passing lanes.”
From the tip at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Westbrook set a ferocious tone, relentlessly harassing a tired Pacers backcourt around the perimeter and attacking the gut of Indiana's league-best defense on the other end.
Overall, he finished with 26 points, a season-high 13 assists and seven rebounds.
But, as Perkins said, it was far more than numbers.
It was Westbrook's intensity. It was his focus. And it was his ability to set an immediate and continuous tone.
And within it all, it provided another energetic reminder that, along with Friday's big performance in New Orleans, he's slowly getting back to his old ways.
“As good as I've ever seen him,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
“He's healthy,” Indiana forward David West said. “I don't think anyone thinks he's not healthy.”
Certainly not after this night. And really, not if you've watched Westbrook for most of the year.
But even Westbrook has admitted that, while his body feels completely fine, his overall timing and touch around the rim has been off.
And that was obvious up until the New Orleans game, with Westbrook entering Friday as a 37 percent shooter on the season and without a 50 percent or better game in his past seven.
Against the Pelicans, he went 8-of-16. Against Indiana, he went 11-of-17, including a fantastic 10-of-11 inside the 3-point line.
“Almost,” Westbrook said when asked if his touch is back. “Sometimes.”
That “sometimes” included Sunday against the Pacers, as he consistently sliced them up on the pick and roll, perfectly analyzing when to shoot the mid-range, when to pass and when to drive.
And as a result, OKC shot a ridiculous 61 percent — its best clip from the field in more than a year — against the league's best defensive field goal percentage team.
“Tonight, he was just tremendous, picking and choosing his spots, getting everyone involved” Kevin Durant said.
“If he play at that level,” Perkins said. “We gonna be a pretty tough team to beat.”
They were on this night.