Nothing excites me more than a Thunder versus Rockets game. My reason isn't to see who can score more, Harden or Durant. Not to see how many shots Serge Ibaka can swat. No. My reason is far beyond the fundamentals and executions of either team. I enjoy the Thunder Rockets games simply because of Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley.
It al started back in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs The Thunder were destined to return to the Promised Land where they would seek revenge against the reigning champs, Miami Heat. This all swirled down the toilet as the rookie on Houston, Patrick Beverley attacked Westbrook's legs after he called a timeout, which eventually resulted in a season ending knee injury. So, it is safe to say that Patrick Beverley is a real reason the Thunder are left without a ring.
After taking the blow, Westbrook needed a meniscus operation.
Fast forward to last night, the first time Russell Westbrook faced off with Beverley this season. The rivalry was sparked early in the game as Westbrook committed an offensive foul on Beverley, causing the matchup to heat up a bit. Then, midway through the 1st quarter, as Westbrook's production soared way higher than Patrick's, Beverley took out his anger on Westbrook in this cheap move.
Then one minute later, a loose ball ended up becoming a brawl on the court.
As the game dragged on, Westbrook excelled, Beverley...not so much.
Westbrook played just 5 more minutes than the young point guard and scored 24 points to Beverley's 2. He assisted 7 shots to Beverley's 3. Even though it was Beverley's design to try and get under Westbrook's skin, the ruse backfired and the Thunder got a key win over a surging Rockets team.
This rivalry is far from over and it doesn't help that the Rockets are just as competitive as OKC. In April, Westbrook and Beverley will go at it once more this regular season.
But for now...
Westbrook/ Beverley Scoreboard
WESTBROOK 1 vs. BEVERLEY 1