The Norman Transcript


April 21, 2014

Thunder not interested in excuses, just taking care of business

NORMAN — Russell Westbrook tried to take all the blame. After Oklahoma watched a 25 point lead dwindle to two points against Memphis, the talented point guard said it was due to his erratic play in the third quarter.

“It’s on me, man. I’ve got to a do a better job,” Westbrook said Sunday. “I turned the ball over a few times. Pace got real slow. I was lagging. It won’t happen again. It was my fault.”

However, coach Scott Brooks wouldn’t let Westbrook shoulder all of the blame for the poor third period in which the Thunder were outscored 31-13.

“The thing I get to see every day is Russell is a winner,” Brooks said. “He plays hard. He plays for his team. We win a lot of games because he’s on the floor. The thing I love about our teams is that we all know we could have done a better job in that third quarter. It’s not on him. But that’s when you know you have a good team when everyone takes ownership.”

Even though the Thunder still won by 100-86 to take Game 1 of their first round series with the Grizzlies, Westbrook knows that type of unfocused play can keep the team from its ultimate prize.

“Not if you want to win a championship, it ain’t,” Westbrook said when asked if remaining focused is sometimes a challenge. “As a point guard that’s what I want to do. I’ve got to do a better job being focused. Especially the start of third quarters, coming out of halftime. That’s normally when teams relax and we were that team.”

Before the Thunder can think about playing for a championship, it still has to deal with the Grizzlies at 7 p.m. tonight in Game 2 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. They will meet a Memphis squad that plans to be more prepared for the type of force Oklahoma City used to build a 25 point advantage in the first place.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Big 12 could fill NCAA’s vacuum; make the discipline calls, too

    It doesn’t look good for Joe Mixon.  Though his attorney, Kevin Finlay, said the most ballyhooed prospect of the Sooners’ most recent recruiting class “instinctually defended himself against further harm,” it just doesn’t ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Bradford facing another year of scrutiny in newest season

    ST. LOUIS — It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford. Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Judge rules against owner Donald Sterling, but lengthy saga far from over

    LOS ANGELES — Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer....

    July 29, 2014

  • T-Wolves land guard Mo Williams

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mo Williams is on his way to Minnesota, which means J.J. Barea could be on his way out....

    July 29, 2014

  • LSU freshmen face misdemeanors

    BATON ROUGE, La. — Two LSU freshmen football players face charges, one for allegedly stealing a bicycle outside Middleton Library and the other for allegedly tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment....

    July 29, 2014

  • Fitzgerald says players’ push for union brought Northwestern together

    CHICAGO — No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the push for them to unionize....

    July 29, 2014

  • Delany rides fence with PSU

    CHICAGO — Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany took a non-committal stance on an effort by five Pennsylvania Congressmen to rescind sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal....

    July 29, 2014

  • Murray St. aims to be OVC contenders

    Fifth-year Murray State coach Chris Hatcher has returned the program to OVC relevance thanks to his exciting “Hatch Attack” offense. The Racers will need more results if they hope to be serious contenders....

    July 29, 2014

  • Healthy Claiborne ready to show his worth to Cowboys

    OXNARD, Calif. — Morris Claiborne got on Terrance Williams’ nerves the minute the competition started at training camp for the Dallas Cowboys....

    July 29, 2014