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Dublin: 8°C Friday 23 October 2020

Westbrook blasts 'disrespectful, vulgar' fans after OKC crash out in Utah

LeBron James, meanwhile, is heading for a game-seven fixture in the first round for the very first time.

Thunder Jazz Basketball Russell Westbrook walks off the court after Oklahoma City Thunder's 96-91 loss to Utah Jazz. Source: Rick Bowmer

RUSSELL WESTBROOK TRIED everything he could to drag the Thunder to a deciding game seven, but lack of production from his team-mates, and a late no-call on Jazz center Rudy Gobert, sealed a 96-91 victory for Utah Jazz and eliminated Oklahoma City from the NBA playoffs.

Reigning MVP Westbrook finished the night with a game-high 46 points on 18-of-43 shooting, but none of the other guards and forwards on the roster made more than three attempts on Friday.

Westbrook simply had no help and the Jazz were able to hold on for a 4-2 victory in their Western Conference first-round matchup, with the Houston Rockets next up.

It also helped that Gobert was not called for a shooting foul on Paul George who had a chance at a game-tying three-pointer with less than 15 seconds remaining.

Down just three points at the time, George would have had an opportunity to tie the game at the line had a foul been called. But there was no whistle, the Jazz collected the rebound and eventually hit two free throws via Donovan Mitchell to ice the game.

Having been involved in a couple of verbal altercations with Utah fans, Westbrook said afterwards: “I didn’t confront fans. Fans confronted me. Here in Utah, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players with these fans. It’s truly disrespectful. Talk about your families, your kids. It’s truly disrespectful to the game.”

He added: “I think it’s something that needs to be brought up. I’m tired of just going out and playing, then the fans saying whatever the hell they want to say. I’m not with that. If I was on the street, they wouldn’t just come up to me and say anything crazy, because I don’t play that shit. So to disrespect me and do whatever they want to do needs to be put to a stop, especially here in Utah.”

Posted by on Friday, 23 October 2020

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were routed 121-87 by the Indiana Pacers in game six earlier on Friday. Cleveland trailed by 10 at half-time, but were outscored by 15 in the third quarter which sealed their fate in Indiana.

Victor Oladipo had a triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while James was the only Cavs starter in double-figures with 22 points, seven assists and five rebounds. The two teams will face off in the first game-seven fixture James has ever played in the first round.

“Win or go home. It’s just that simple,” James told reporters after the game.

The Toronto Raptors broke the Washington Wizards’ eight-game home playoff win streak with a 102-92 victory to advance to the next round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Bradley Beal and John Wall combined to score 55 points on 19-of-44 shooting, but the rest of Washington’s starting line-up combined to score 17 points in 95 minutes of play.

Friday’s results

Indiana Pacers 121-87 Cleveland Cavaliers
Utah Jazz 96-91 Oklahoma City Thunder
Toronto Raptors 102-92 Washington Wizards

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