Westbrook clarified his reasoning following the game, saying that the fan told him to "get down on my knees like you used to".
With Westbrook's response captured on video, the National Basketball Association is sure to take a close look at whether the former MVP crossed any boundaries with his choice of words. But while the occasional verbal clap back from a superstar pushed too far is more than understandable, you can't but think Russell Westbrook may have gone just a shade too far here.
"I don't confront fans", Westbrook said last April.
"... There are some people who come to the game to say disrespectful things about me and my family". "To me, that's just completely disrespectful, to me, I think it's racial, and I think it's inappropriate".
'Players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment, ' the Jazz statement said. Utah said it will take "appropriate action" if any fan is deemed to have violated the league's code of conduct.
The fan said in a TV interview that neither he nor his wife cursed at Westbrook. As a team, the Thunder shot just 40 percent from the field and 11 of 44 from the 3-point line as they wrestled the Clippers in a scrappy affair littered with fouls, but when the game tightened up, it was the Clippers who had the last laugh as they closed the game on a 10-3 run.
Following the game, Westbrook's teammate Patrick Patterson confirmed the taunts received by the star point guard, and both he and Westbrook called for players to be protected from unruly fans. Paced by Russell Westbrook's 32 points, the Thunder essentially fouled itself out of the game allowing the Clips to shoot a staggering 46 free throws. "We bounced back, but unfortunately it wasn't enough", Mitchell said. O'Neale added 17 points while Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
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Over that span, the Jazz's O-rating reached 125 when Exum was on the court and they outscored opponents by 19 points per 100 possessions.
'We really worked our tails off defensively, particularly in the half-court, ' Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "When we're not able to convert, it puts a lot of pressure on our defence".
"If I had it to do over again, I would say the exact same thing. The offence will come".
Starting with second-chance baskets from Adams and Grant, the Thunder scored field goals on five straight possessions to take a 22-14 lead late in the first quarter. The Jazz, sitting seventh, drop back to 37-29.
Throughout much of the second quarter, Utah didn't attempt much inside at all.
The Aussie guard has played in 39 games this season with averages of 7.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.7 rebounds while playing 16.3 minutes per game.
"We self-induced some of their runs", Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. 'We had some opportunities in transition that we turned the ball over. We got lost a couple of times in transition defense and gave some open 3s.
The most recent injury was tough because he didn't expect to be out as long as he was, but the Jazz medical staff was cautious because an accompanying bone bruise was also discovered in the process.