Russell Westbrook said following the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 123-112 loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday that hitting referee Tre Maddox with the basketball was unintentional and that he would “never, ever disrespect the game like that.” With 3:13 left in the first quarter, Westbrook threw the ball at Maddox’s head after the Thunder had called timeout. Maddox turned his head as Westbrook let go of the ball, and it hit the referee in the side of his face.
Westbrook was assessed a technical foul, his 10th of the season. He had two technicals from earlier in the season rescinded by the league earlier in the day. “I called his name. He turned right at me and then looked away. I don’t know,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know what to tell you, brother. I really don’t. I’m not the type of guy … I would never, ever disrespect the game like that and throw the ball at the referee. I’ve never done it before. That’s just not even heard of in the game before. To get a tech, it’s crazy to me. But you take the good with the bad.”
Source: Royce Young of ESPN
Tyronn Lue: Cavs Can’t Get Satisfied with One Win
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
Luka Doncic to Make Decision on NBA Draft ‘Soon’
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
D’Antoni on Rockets Blow Out Loss: We Played ‘Soft’
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