Sabrina B.

Russell Westbrook is already a very charged-up young man on the basketball court, but Shane Battier made the grave mistake of firing him up even more last night, and that turned out to be very bad news for the Miami Heat.

Per Yahoo! Sports:

“That’s all I need every once in a while. I don’t know what he was thinking,’ Westbrook said. ‘He was trying to punk me.’ A frustrated Westbrook had nine points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field and missed both 3-point attempts while dishing six assists in the first half. Perhaps he spent precious energy in a dance routine, moving furiously during the pregame introductions. The Thunder followed Westbrook’s lackluster lead despite Kevin Durant’s solid start (13 first-half points).

Miami was certainly in control as it owned a lead as large as 13 points before walking into the locker room at halftime up 54-47. ‘I needed something. We needed something,’ Westbrook said. Westbrook finally got that something when he drove hard for a shifty lay-in with 31.4 seconds left before the half. Westbrook and Battier then got testy after getting tangled. Westbrook swung his arm in retaliation and received a technical and personal foul; Battier was also given a technical. Suddenly, the nice guy was gone in an Incredible Hulk second as he walked toward the crowd and screamed with a wild look in his eye.

Westbrook also fired up the Thunder faithful, who roared back in appreciation. ‘Just frustrated in myself,’ Westbrook said. ‘I know I could have played harder. And our coaching staff and other guys on the team just emphasized once I started playing harder everybody else would follow. And that’s my job.’”