OKLAHOMA CITY, Sporting Alert – Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder play host to the Miami Heat in an NBA fixture on Monday night.
Westbrook and the Thunder (5-1) bounced back from the blowout defeat to the Golden State with a 112-92 win over Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night with Westbrook finishing with 28 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes.
Miami, in the meantime, has lost three of their last four, including the 96-87 defeat to the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.
Monday night’s game will see Westbrook, the most aggressive player in the NBA going up against Heat’s centre Hassan Whiteside, who was the leading shot blocker in the league last year and is currently ranked among the top five at the moment.
There is no doubt Whiteside will be targeting Westbrook under the basket, but the OKC star says he won’t be changing his style.
“I’m not scared of nobody under the basket,” said the All-Star point guard, who is averaging 33.2 points, 9.7 assists, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game after six games.
In the defeat to the Raptors, Whiteside led Miami with 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and grabbed 16 rebounds.
He is averaging career-highs 20 points and 14.2 rebounds, as well as 2.6 blocks in 26.30 minutes per game this campaign.
“He’s playing hard and he’s making better reads on both ends of the court,” Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of his star center.
“He just has to keep building and he’s doing that in big minutes, too.”
The game will also see former Thunder guard Dion Waiters facing Oklahoma City for the first time since leaving in the offseason after failing to agree on a new contract.
Waiters says he probably would still be playing for the Thunder had Kevin Durant didn’t opt out to join up with the Warriors.
“At the end of the day, if they would have kept it together, I’m pretty sure I would have went back one more year to see what we could do because we were 24 minutes away from the finals,” Waiters was quoted as telling The Palm Beach Post.
“Once things went the way it went I kind of knew.”
There are six other games on the NBA fixture on Monday night, including the Los Angeles Clippers against the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls against the Orlando Magic.
Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors will entertain the New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets travel to the Washington Wizards, while the Philadelphia 76ers look for their first win this season against the Utah Jazz.
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Monday, November 7
NBA League Pass Live Stream
Utah Philadelphia 7:00 PM NBATV
Houston Washington 7:00 PM
Indiana Charlotte 7:00 PM
Orlando Chicago 8:00 PM
Miami Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Detroit LA 10:30 PM
New Orleans Golden State 10:30 PM