Dominant Westbrook steals Curry's thunder

Tue May 17, 2016 2:39am EDT
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By Jahmal Corner

(Reuters) - Russell Westbrook's refusal to bow down to league darling Stephen Curry helped Oklahoma City to stand tall and send a strong opening message in their Western Conference finals clash.

Curry has gathered a legion of fans as the NBA's two-time MVP and most popular jersey seller, but Westbrook resisted becoming one of them in the lead up to Monday's meeting.

"It's not nothing I haven't seen," Westbrook told reporters of Curry's offensive prowess. "Just (have to be) be physical."

Westbrook proved good on his word as he snatched control of Game One to push the Thunder to a comeback 108-102 victory. Westbrook's dominant third quarter, where he scored 19 of his 27 points, was a statement of his competitiveness that ultimately pulled Oklahoma City out of a 14-point deficit.

The five-time All Star seemed to relish every time he was guarded by Curry.

"My job is to stay in attack mode and constantly find ways to get my team mates going," said Westbrook, who added 12 assists and seven steals.

"They have a lot of great players on their team but we have a great team as well."

Curry was hardly a slouch on a night he recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.   Continued...

May 9, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots for one of his 17 points in overtime against the Portland Trail Blazers in game four of the second round of the NBA Playoffs at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports