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Thunder: Keeping a frustrated Russell Westbrook in the game was a wise decision

Oklahoma City's star guard follows technical foul with 14 points. He finishes the game with 31 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: March 7, 2012

/articleid/3655664/1/pictures/1661573">Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) argues a technical with the official during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) argues a technical with the official during the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Phoenix Suns at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Asked if regaining his composure was on his mind during the timeout, Westbrook smiled and said: "Nah, (I) came back and got a steal."

Indeed, just 12 seconds after play resumed, Westbrook capped his midcourt steal with a dunk and a Thunderous comeback had commenced.

OKC outscored Phoenix 43-20 the remainder of the game and sealed it with yet another four-quarter, clamp-down effort defensively. The Thunder outscored the Suns 31-16 in the final period as Phoenix shot just 17.6 percent (3 for 17) from the field.

During his discussion with Foster, it appeared Westbrook was trying to explain he had said something to the Phoenix bench and not to Foster.

“Yeah, there was a little mix-up, but I've just got to watch my emotions and try to not get no more,” said Westbrook, who now has eight technical fouls on the season, five short of drawing a one-game suspension.

“He wasn't frustrated with the ref, he was just frustrated at himself,” Brooks said of Westbrook. “He said something to somebody, I don't know. But at that point, it's an emotional game. You know there's a chance that you'll get a ‘T.' You just have to suck it up. … You've got to control your emotions and that's the bottom line.”


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