Russell Westbrook vs. Damian Lillard: New season, same result.
During the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s game between the Rockets and Trail Blazers, the two All-Star guards rekindled their rivalry with a brief back-and-forth at the free throw line. Westbrook drew a foul on Lillard in the post and told him, “Can’t guard me. Impossible.”
The trash talk was poorly timed, however, as Westbrook missed his first attempt with the Rockets trailing by 14 points. Not a great look, buddy.
Portland went on to defeat Houston by a final score of 117-107, handing the Rockets their third double-digit loss in their last four games. Westbrook (31 points, 12 assists, 11 rebounds) finished with better individual numbers than Lillard (25 points, seven assists, seven rebounds), but Lillard quite literally got the last laugh.
It was yet another win for Lillard, who famously ended the Thunder’s 2018-19 season (and the Westbrook era in Oklahoma City) with one of the wildest buzzer-beaters in NBA history. Lillard was dominant in last year’s first-round series, averaging 33 points per game and shooting nearly 50 percent from 3-point range only a few months after Westbrook told him he had been “busting that ass for years.”
We won’t have to wait long for the next chapter of this spicy feud. The Rockets and Blazers meet in Portland on Jan. 29.