Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard are accustomed to battling shot for shot when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trailblazers face off. But during the fourth quarter of Tuesday's clash between the two teams, the star point guards engaged in some verbal sparring.
"He said, 'Shoot your free throws, the game is over anyways,'" Lillard said, according to The Athletic's Jason Quick. The Trailblazers star said he responded by saying, "Ain't s--- over when I'm out here."
Westbrook then spoke into Lillard's ear during the final 10 seconds of Oklahoma City's 123-114 victory, but Lillard claimed it was just a show of mutual respect.
"Walking down the court he was like, 'You know this is how we do (it),'" he said. "I respect you, you respect me. That's all it was. I mean, he know. He know. He knows I'm not one of those people that ... (there) ain't no fear. I'm going to come at you the same way you come at me. And he know that. Where he come from (Los Angeles) and where I come from (Oakland), that's regular."
Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic wasn't having any of Westbrook's talk, however, rushing to Lillard's defense during the game's final moments. The big man wasn't pleased with the Thunder star's choice of words toward Lillard.
"I mean, Russ is a good player, but he is just in his feelings too much," Nurkic said. "I like him, he's a good player, plays with passion. But he was saying some stuff that wasn't making sense."
When asked about Nurkic postgame, Westbrook seemingly muttered, "I ain't talking about this clown," under his breath, according to Jacob Tobey of KJRH. Nurkic responded to the point guard on Twitter, calling him "Westbrick."
Lillard also took to social media, posting a photo of himself guarding Westbrook with the caption "Warfare."
The Blazers and Thunder meet two more times this season - Feb.11 in Oklahoma City and March 7 in Portland.