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OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook unstoppable in Game 1 victory against Houston Rockets

Thunder point guard proves the Rockets don't have an answer for him with a huge performance in Sunday's 120-91 victory.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 22, 2013

/articleid/3792024/1/pictures/2023923">Photo - Houston's Jeremy Lin (7) fouls Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Oklahoma City won, 120-91. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Houston's Jeremy Lin (7) fouls Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 21, 2013. Oklahoma City won, 120-91. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Durant continued, detailing what turn the Thunder now expects this chess match to take.

“Next game, they're going to try to make it tough for him,” Durant said of Westbrook. “They're going to send two or three guys at him so we got to make the right plays.”

Westbrook, sitting to shoulder-to-shoulder to Durant's right, shook his head in agreement, as if he already expects exactly that as well.

Houston's problem, one we assumed going into Game 1 but got our confirmation after those 30 electric minutes, is there isn't a single Rockets player who can come close to containing Westbrook.

In his playoff debut, Jeremy Lin was abysmal, scoring four points on 1-for-7 shooting. He had as many turnovers as assists (four) and more fouls (five) than anyone.

The only Rocket who looked to possess the relentlessness it takes to attempt to corral Westbrook was Patrick Beverley, a 2009 second-round pick who came in with 41 career games on his resume. Beverley actually picked Westbrook's pocket twice.

But it'll take much more than those two moments by Beverley for the Rockets to make this a series.

Because after Sunday night's blowout, the Rockets don't have a chance of seeing Westbrook take his foot off the gas.

“My job as the point guard for this team is to stay in attack mode,” Westbrook said.

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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