showed flashes of his all-around talent in Sunday’s 88-85 win over Minnesota.
With the Thunder trailing by 10 late in the third quarter, Westbrook sparked a 7-0 run to bring the Thunder within three going into the fourth quarter. He intercepted a pass at half-court and darted to the basket for a three-point play.
He came up with another steal on the Wolves’ next possession then found Joe Smith for a 17-footer. And he coolly walked the ball up the court in the final seconds before hitting Desmond Mason at the top of the key for a buzzer-beating basket.
"Russell just turned around the game with his defense, and that got us going,” Carlesimo said.
Thunder coaches and executives have maintained that Ford Center crowds will see the best and worst of Westbrook as he learns on the job this season.
On Sunday night, Westbrook took a step forward in his development.
"He did,” said Kevin Durant. "Even though it was late in the game and the game was tight he was aggressive. He didn’t shy back from that, and that’s what we need from him all year.”