Russell Westbrook Shut Down by Patrick Beverley in Game 1 Loss to Rockets

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

In his first-round playoff meeting with fellow MVP candidate James Harden, Russell Westbrook didn't even outplay the Houston Rockets' other starting guard, Patrick Beverley.

Beverley, a notoriously tough defender, set the tone early while covering the Oklahoma City Thunder star.

And he didn't let up.

As a result, Westbrook finished the teams' playoff opener with a wildly inefficient night, scoring 22 points on 6-of-23 shooting and turning the ball over nine times to go with 11 boards, two steals, and seven assists. Beverley finished with similar counting stats—21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals—but shot a tidy 8-of-13 from the floor and only turned the ball over twice.

He also shrugged off one of the loudest screens you'll ever bear witness to, from OKC granite slab Steven Adams.

"It was a legal screen. Good screen," Beverley said after the game, a 118-87 victory over the Thunder. "I've been hit with many screens before. On to the next play."

"He does it every game," said Harden, who finished with 37 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists. "That's the reason why we're in the position that we're in. He brings it every game. Whether or not his shot is falling or not, he brings that intensity. Tonight he made shots, he rebounded the ball at a high level, he's just Pat tonight."

After the win, Beverley refused to take credit for Wesbrook's tough night.

"It was a team effort in just trying to show him a lot of bodies," the five-year veteran said. "He's one of the most explosive guards in this league, so we were just trying to make it tough on him."

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