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Monday Bolts: 4.24.17

Monday Bolts: 4.24.17

Royce Young: “The Thunder are on the brink now, and Westbrook will almost assuredly shoulder as much responsibility as he ever has in a must-win Game 5 in Houston on Tuesday. But he can’t beat the balanced Rockets on his own. Which is why he wasn’t so much answering a question after Game 4 as he was trying to send a message. The podium was his vehicle to speak up for his battered teammates, and tell them he has their backs. Unless they have his, though, the Thunder’s season won’t last last much longer.”

Westbrook v. Berry Tramel in the Post-Game Presser:

Tim Bontemps: “This is the yin and yang of Westbrook, and why he has become the NBA’s version of a Rorschach test. Everything about him — including his postgame news conference — can be interpreted in multiple ways. For some, stepping in front of Adams to answer that question was a sign of leadership, of him lending some much-needed support with the Thunder on the brink of elimination. For others, it was an emasculation of Adams, a player who was given a $100 million contract extension before this season because he’s seen as a long-term fixture next to Westbrook who is perfectly capable of answering an eminently reasonable question.”

Patrick Beverley fined $25,000 for incident with Thunder fan: “In the first half, Beverley got knocked down after attempting a layup and landed at a fan’s feet. The fan was identified as Stuart Scaramucci, son of Oklahoma City Thunder minority owner Jay Scaramucci. Beverley got up and immediately started to complain about Scaramucci. He pointed at Scaramucci as referee Scott Foster and several Rockets went to help him up. After the game, Beverley approached Scaramucci, who was sitting behind the basket, and they got into a heated discussion.”

Beverley responds:

Rockets Laugh at Roberson During Hack-A-Dre Free Throw Struggles:

Sam Dekker defends the laughter:  “My goal is to win. And while Im injured Im still gonna try to affect the game and get in guys heads. Game is as much mental as physical.”

More triple-double history for Russ: “During Game 4, Westbrook recorded his third triple-double in a row, becoming just the second player in NBA history, along with Chamberlain, to record three straight triple-doubles in the playoffs.”

Erik Horne on why Oladipo isn’t running PG:Throughout the Thunder’s regular season, there was an idea that Victor Oladipo could take over the reins at point guard in a pinch when Russell Westbrook goes to the bench. But as the Thunder faces a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference semifinals against Houston following a 113-109 loss on Sunday, the Oladipo-as-point guard experiment still hasn’t emerged.”

Jerry West heaps praise on Westbrook: “We’re looking at a reincarnation of Michael Jordan who might be a little better in terms of athletic ability.”

Steven Adams draws up crunch-time three: