Oklahoma City's reward was a 111-102 win over Memphis that evened their best-of-seven series at a game apiece; the two sides will retreat to a neutral corner for three days before Game 3 in Memphis on Saturday.
THE FINE LINE WESTBROOK WALKS
Fran Blinebury (nba.com): It was going to happen. It always does. The way roll follows rock. The way tick follows tock. You can practically set your Rolex by it, though even by the usual standards, it was a bit early for the alarm to be ringing loud enough to wake up the folks in Tulsa. Your browser does not support iframes.
The Thunder got beat in the opening game of their semifinal series with the Grizzlies and that meant Russell Westbrook got beat like a rented mule. Actually, there are rented mules who would learn to work a cell phone and bray their abuse complaints to PETA if they were ever whipped as often as Westbrook.
He shoots too much. He doesn't shoot enough. He's constantly attacking the basket. He needs to know when to take charge. Westbrook took 23 shots on Sunday afternoon and was roasted, then took 20 shots on Tuesday night and was toasted.
The difference? A win.
"It's funny how perceptions change," said Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks. "It's really a fine line for Russell."
It's more like a tightrope that Westbrook has to inch across every night while juggling a chainsaw and an NBA franchise.