Thursday's National Basketball Association roundup: Pacers recover to defeat Thunder


The Thunder had one more chance to tie or win the game in the closing seconds, but Russell Westbrook missed a potential game-winning three from 29 feet out.

Westbrook was fined $25,000 for "directing profanity and threatening language to a fan". In video posted on social media Tuesday, a fan is heard calling Westbrook "boy".

"It sheds to light sometimes these things that players have to deal with during the course of games", Donovan said.

Without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who the underdog Pacers got in the blockbuster deal that sent George to the Thunder in July 2017, in fought its way back over the final 15 minutes behind the other player it acquired in the deal, Sabonis, and Matthews, who the Pacers signed last month as Oladipo's replacement. Will told me he believes Morant's explosive first step and leaping ability should allow him to continue to rack up high free throw totals in the pros, but he might not be a big time scorer initially.

NBA Twitter discovered Keisel's Twitter account which had previously disparaged Westbrook and has made other racist statements in the past. The Thunder star explained after the game the that the fan told him to "get down on your knees like you used to".

Earlier this week, Jazz fan Shane Keisel was banned from the arena after his altercation with Westbrook. I don't think it's fair to the players - not just to me, but I don't think it's fair to the players. But Westbrook, who has had multiple angry in-game exchanges with fans, insisted that Monday night's video during a 98-89 Oklahoma City win over the Jazz told only one side of the story.

"When it's an individual battle with a person in the crowd, and they say something violently disrespectful like that, then it's going to warrant a reaction", he said.

When I asked Will which player he would take with the 2nd overall pick, he said he'd prefer Duke teammates R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish over Morant.

Keisel said he was playfully bantering with Westbrook before Westbrook started cursing at him. I've never been in any trouble, I've never fought a fan, been in the league 11 years [and have] a clean slate.

Furthermore, like Boston in the past, Utah has become a place where players come to expect hearing racist remarks. He said he was responding to a racial taunt, and not for the first time in Salt Lake City.

And as of Wednesday night, the campaign - created by lifelong Jazz fan Devin Deaton of Sandy, Utah - had raised more than $9,000. Because of that, multiple National Basketball Association fans have crossed the line while trying to "psych-out" Westbrook over the years.

Five fans at the game were issued "warning cards" citing the NBA's code of conduct after the incident, the Deseret News reported.