Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (C) is fouled by Houston Rockets guard James Harden (R) while going to the basket in the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference playoffs on April 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA
April 26 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is officially out of the playoffs, but he left NBA fans enough material Tuesday to get through the offseason.
The NBA MVP favorite had plenty to say at his postgame press conferences during the Thunder's series against the Houston Rockets, with some of his jabs resulting in fines. In Tuesday's Game 5 series finale, he had his eyes on Rockets guard Patrick Beverley.
Westbrook and Beverley tussled throughout the 105-99 Thunder loss. With about seven minutes remaining in the bout, tension boiled over. The duo tossed insults at each other until referees intervened, giving them both technical fouls.
"It's actually the first time we exchanged words this postseason," Beverley said in his postgame comments. "He's a really good player. He applies a lot of pressure due to his athleticism, his creating ability."
"He shocked me because he said, 'Look up' and said, 'Nobody can guard me. I got 40 points.' I said, 'That's nice. You took 34 shots to get it.' I'm not trying to bash anybody. Men lie, women lie, and the numbers don't. Collectively, as a unit, we did a great job on him, tried to make him take a lot of tough shots, and the numbers show."
Westbrook posted 37.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.8 assists per game in the series. But he wasn't his "Human Triple-Double" self against the Rockets' defender.
On Tuesday he shot 34 times to net his game-high 47 points. He also made 5-of-18 3-point attempts. Against Beverley, Westbrook was 7-for-27.
"He was talking about how he was First Team All-Defense, but I didn't know what the hell he was talking about because I had 42 at a time this series," Westbrook told reporters during his postgame interview. "I don't know what he was talking about. Maybe he was dreaming or some [expletive]. I don't know. I don't know what he was talking about. But, I guess he wants to be First-Team All-Defense or something. Maybe he was dreaming about it. I don't know."
Beverley had 15 points in the win. He made 60 percent of his shots from the floor. James Harden, Westbrook's biggest competition for the MVP, had 34 points and shot 32 percent from the floor.
Westbrook was also criticized for poor sportsmanship after deciding not to participate in postgame handshakes with the Rockets.
We'll have to wait to see if Westbrook is fined for using expletives during his press conference. He was docked $15,000 by the NBA after using inappropriate language last week following Game 2 of the series. On Sunday he had another entertaining postgame exchange when he wouldn't let teammate Steven Adams answer a reporter's question regarding why the team struggles when Westbrook is on the bench.
The Rockets will battle the San Antonio Spurs or Memphis Grizzlies in the second round of the NBA's Western Conference playoffs.