Aside from allowing Rubio to score heavily, the Thunder point guard shot just 5 for 17 from the floor for 14 points, while his nine assists were nearly matched by eight turnovers. Rubio called it "an honor" to have his name next to the Jazz legend.
"We all have phones, we all have social media so of course we're aware of it but what else was he supposed to say?"
It was already known, but Game 3 further cemented that the Thunder can't lose the Westbrook-Rubio matchup if they want to advance.
"He made some shots", Westbrook said in the post-game conference.
Asked if the Rubio might have an encore in Game 4, Westbrook defiantly declared that he would shut down any chance of that happening. He was helped out in part by a huge game from Derrick Favors, who contributed 20 points along with 16 rebounds and three assists. So it was a little odd to see Jazz guard Ricky Rubio put up a monster triple-double against Westbrook in Utah's 115-102 Game 4 victory on Saturday.
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seal Monte Carlo progression
Muller saved the first match point with a strong serve but lost to the imposing German on the next with a double fault. Nishikori returned from injury in February, after a torn tendon in his right wrist ruled him out of last year's U.S.
OKC lost both games and are now down 2-1 in the series.
"To be quite honest, he's been on a hard end the last two games of some of those fouls", Donovan said. Whether he can do it efficiently is another question, but expect him to take more than the 17 shots he took last game and dish out double figures in assists this time around. That's particularly been the case for Jae Crowder, who was Utah's sixth man for the latter half of the regular season and put in some exceptional minutes. "I felt like our guys were working hard to get back, but it's hard to recover when you turn the ball over like that". Donovan Mitchell has been great in his first three playoff games, so the fascination with the rookie star is only growing.
"Just being able to get him out of transition, because [Westbrook] is elite when it comes to transition", Mitchell said.
Oklahoma City backup small forward Jerami Grant was given 30 minutes of playing time in Game 2 and made the most of it, scoring 13 points while pulling down six rebounds and adding an assist. "I thought he took good shots and it really stabilized our group". Yet here we are - and that's exactly what Utah is going to make him do. He's controlling the backboards, he's changing shots, he's thwarting Westbrook and he's showing why he's the likely Defensive Player of the Year. "So yeah, it moves you one foul closer to the bonus", Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.