The Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder played a tense game Tuesday night that was highlighted by Russell Westbrook’s exchanges with several Blazer players, including Damian Lillard. Following the game, Jason Quick of The Athletic (subscription required) got the insight into what was actually said on the court:
It heightened with 1:20 left, as Lillard shot free throws after Westbrook fouled him.
“He said, ‘Shoot your free throws, the game is over anyways,”’ Lillard recalled.
During the course of making both free throws that drew Portland to within 121-112, Lillard shot back.
“Ain’t shit over when I’m out here,” Lillard remembered telling him. “We are going to see.”
Lillard talked about a sort-of mirroring that he does when facing someone as intense as Westbrook:
“I see him and I see how he is almost angry toward other people,” Lillard said. “So I take that same energy with him. I don’t speak to him before the game. I don’t shake hands. I don’t do none of that. I’m like, ‘It is going to be what it is going to be.’ That’s my approach.”
But, things are not just bad blood between the two. Westbrook approached Lillard as the buzzer sounded and told him that he respects him, per the article, which you can read more of here (subscription required).
You can read our recap of Westbrook’s various feuds throughout the night here.