“I came in and tried to defend,” Westbrook said. “Last time in L.A., they got the best of us of getting in the paint and throwing lobs and things like that. And I tried to prevent that tonight.”
One of several Thunder players who never is satisfied with his individual performance, Westbrook chided himself for not getting a single steal of all things. But everyone inside the locker room knew the impact he had just provided.
“He was really focused, and he was great for us,” Collison said. “When he can control the point of the ball, we're so much better defensively.”
The Thunder held the Clippers to 36.7 percent shooting, the first time since Feb. 23 that Oklahoma City has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting. Not coincidentally, that performance was against the Lakers, which was the last opponent that got the Thunder's best shot just before the All-Star break began and this current inconsistency kicked in.
“It seems like it's been a while since we've had 48 minutes of consistent defensive pressure on the basketball,” Brooks said.