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Billy Donovan: ‘Have Enormous Amount of Trust [in Westbrook]’

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Russell Westbrook has been able to do just about anything he wants this season. He averaged a triple-double, broke Oscar Robertson’s single-season record for triple-doubles and carried the Thunder to the playoffs despite the loss of Kevin Durant in free agency. Thus far in the playoffs, however, his individual brilliance hasn’t translated into wins against the Houston Rockets.

“Let’s be honest,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday after his team practiced in Oklahoma City. “When Russell has been off the floor for us, there’s been a differential.” “I have an enormous amount of trust and confidence after being with Russell this season for 82 games and seeing the ways he’s closed out games and different things that he’s done,” Donovan said. “I trust him when he’s got the ball in terms of making decisions.

Source: Ramona Shelburne of ESPN

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Tyronn Lue: Cavs Can’t Get Satisfied with One Win

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Down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals heading into Saturday’s Game 3, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had desperation on his side as his team played with a have-to-have-it edge in their 116-86 blowout of the Boston Celtics.

Now Lue is tasked with distilling that same sense of urgency for 48 hours heading into Monday’s Game 4 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). “We know what it takes,” Lue said after the Cavs’ film session on Sunday. “We did it before. We’ve got a lot of veterans, a veteran crew and they know what it takes to win. We can’t get satisfied with just one win. It’s just one; we’ve got to come out [Monday] night and duplicate it again.”

Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN

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Luka Doncic to Make Decision on NBA Draft ‘Soon’

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Eight months after helping Slovenia to its first European Championship, Luka Doncic added a Euroleague title to his ever-growing mantel, which now also includes the Euroleague MVP and Euroleague Final Four MVP awards.

When asked by ESPN following Sunday’s victory what his next move is, Doncic said: “I will tell about all at the right time. Right now I just want to celebrate with my team. Soon I will tell.”

Source: Jonathan Givony of ESPN

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D’Antoni on Rockets Blow Out Loss: We Played ‘Soft’

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Coach Mike D’Antoni used the most damning four-letter word in the NBA vernacular — “soft” — to describe the Houston Rockets’ performance in the most lopsided playoff loss in franchise history.

The Golden State Warriors routed the top-seeded Rockets 126-85 at Oracle Arena in Sunday’s Game 3 to regain the series lead in the Western Conference finals.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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