The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to put a weird team dustup behind them on Saturday night when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
In the third quarter, All-Star guard Russell Westbrook angrily spoke with teammates after he was whistled for a five-second violation. He was benched by head coach Scott Brooks and while talking with assistant coach Maurice Cheeks on the sideline, he went off to the locker room.
Westbrook came back and played in the fourth quarter and brushed aside the outburst.
"A little miscommunication," Westbrook told TNT's Craig Sager.
He was tight-lipped about the situation after that.
The Thunder handled the under-manned Grizzlies, 106-89 and Westbrook had 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Kevin Durant led the way with 27 points, seven boards and six helpers.
The Thunder have split their last six games and went 2-4 on a recent road trip. After Saturday night's contest, the Thunder will be home for three straight.
The Cavaliers, who begin a seven-game homestand Saturday, dropped their second in a row with a 117-99 road loss to the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons built a eight-point lead after one quarter and were 17 ahead with 12 minutes to go.
Detroit shot 54.2 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Cavs by seven.
"I take full responsibility for my lackluster play that kind of trickled down to everybody else," said All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. "This cannot happen and this will never happen again. I can guarantee that. We have to prepare for OKC tomorrow which is an even better team."
The Thunder are better than the Pistons, but it won't matter if Cleveland comes out like that again. Cleveland didn't play well in a Tuesday loss at home to the Golden State Warriors and head coach Byron Scott appears to be getting testy.
"We came out the same way; lackadaisical, lifeless, and we did it again tonight for whatever reason," Scott said. "I do not know maybe we have to go back to two-and-a half, three-hour practices."
Tristan Thompson led the way with 19 points, followed by 17 from the newly- acquired Marreese Speights. Irving, C.J. Miles and Wayne Ellington all scored in double figures.
The Thunder, who are 5-0 this season against the Central Division, captured this season's only matchup, a 106-91 victory in Oklahoma City on Nov. 11. OKC has won three of the last four meetings.
The Sports Network