After an apparent incident with a fan after halftime, Russell Westbrook’s late-game efforts helped the Clippers win Game 1 over the Suns. A fan’s video and Bleacher Report claim that Westbrook yelled at a supporter wearing a Sun’s polo, telling him, “Watch your mouth, motherf-ker, watch your mouth.”
A Clippers security guard mediates the situation while a young fan watches. Then, as Westbrook walks into the tunnel that leads him back to the Footprint Center floor, a voice yells, “talk about it, be about it.” Westbrook is wearing his Clippers jersey untucked and pulled up.
“Watch your mouth motherf**ker”
Russell Westbrook to a Suns fan tonight: pic.twitter.com/EptuScWxjI
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) April 17, 2023
The Suns released a statement saying, “We are aware of the incident that happened tonight and is conducting a review,” as reported by Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.
Westbrook was instructed to “take it like a man” by a fan, though when or what the supporter said or did to provoke Westbrook’s reaction is not evident in the video. The event, as Rankin demonstrated in a Twitter video, took place in a lounge area that doubles as a fast cut to the visiting locker room.
The halftime setting was confirmed by both Bleacher Report and the fan video.
I’m sure you’ve seen the Russell Westbrook/#Suns fan interaction by now, but visiting players have been going through the club area to the visiting lockerroom all season.
It’s been used as a short cut to the visiting lockerroom. #ClipperNation #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/HGpOUu0105
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) April 17, 2023
Westbrook shot just 3-of-19 from the floor on the way to a near triple-double, but his team, the Phoenix Suns, lost the series opener to the Los Angeles Clippers. He contributed 10 boards and 8 dimes as well.
Westbrook made two crucial free throws in the last minute, though. He also ensured the ball hit Suns star Devin Booker before going out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Clippers after he blocked Booker.
Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard led the Clippers to the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference, setting up an intriguing first-round matchup against Westbrook’s former Thunder colleague Kevin Durant, who Phoenix acquired from the Nets at the trade deadline.
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Los Angeles and Phoenix will play Game 2 on Tuesday, and then Games 3 and 4 of the series will be played in California, both at the home of the Clippers.
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