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.
PERKINS VS. CHANDLER
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.
During a timeout with 5:35 left in the second quarter, Chandler screamed at Serge Ibaka and stared down Westbrook directly in front of the Thunder bench while walking past.
Shortly before the first-half buzzer sounded, Chandler and Thunder reserve center Nazr Mohammed got into a tussle underneath the Thunder basket and Chandler swung his leg at Mohammed. No foul was called.
* Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki sank 24 of 24 free throws en route to 48 points in Game 1. In Game 2, he went 9 for 10, which included a miss with 36.7 second left that snapped his streak on consecutive makes at 39. During the regular season, Nowitzki averaged 6.1 free-throw attempts per game.
* Thunder coach Scott Brooks was particularly annoyed his team gave up 30 points in each of the last three quarters of Game 1. OKC was outscored 31-26 in the first quarter of Game 2 and then won the second quarter 33-26. In the entire second half, however, the Thunder defense yielded just 43 points total. "Our goal was to give up 20 a quarter," Maynor said.
* In its 121-112 loss Tuesday, the Thunder became the first team to score 100 points against the Mavericks in the playoffs. OKC broke the century mark again in Game 2.
* Dallas is now 9-3 in the playoffs and 7-1 at home. The Thunder is 9-5 overall and 6-1 at Oklahoma City Arena.
* Perkins has five technical fouls in the playoffs. A player is suspended for one game when he reaches seven technicals.
* The Mavericks had covered the betting line 15 straight games before losing Game 2.
Portland center LaMarcus Aldridge, seated in the second row behind the media, was asked at halftime how he would defend Nowitzki: "You can't. Not right now, anyway."