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Russell Westbrook gets into shoving match with Jonas Valanciunas

By
Alex Butler
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was not having it when Toronto Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas tried to take the basketball from his hands.

The play went down in Wednesday's game with 7:49 remaining in the second quarter. Westbrook and the Thunder went on to win 124-107 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

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Wednesday's dustup began after Westbrook tossed up a midrange jumper from the right elbow. The attempt clanked off the back iron. Thunder guard Andre Roberson collected the rebound and fired it back out to Westbrook.

The 2017 NBA MVP then drove the lane and ran into Valanciunas under the rim. He tossed up another missed attempt, as his layup bounced around on the rim. The ball deflected off Thunder teammate Steven Adams before landing in Westbrook's hands as he sat on the court. The referee awarded the Raptors with the ball on the play.

Valanciunas reached down to take it from Westbrook, but the Thunder guard ripped it away from his opponent. He then used his off hand to shoo away the Raptors big man. He got to his feet and put his hands on Valanciunas, who pushed back. Westbrook's Thunder teammates joined in the scuffle to defend the superstar.

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Valanciunas and Westbrook earned double technicals on the play.

Westbrook netted 30 points and had 13 assists and eight rebounds in the win.

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