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Russell Westbrook Shoves Fan After Gary Harris Buzzer-Beater Beats Thunder

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2018

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook walks off the court after the team's 102-96 loss in an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook had trouble with more than just Gary Harris during Oklahoma City's 127-124 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.

After Harris drilled the game-winning three at the buzzer, Westbrook had an altercation with a fan at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Carson Cunningham of KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City noted the TNT broadcast of the game showed Westbrook shove a fan who was on the court and in his face following Harris' shot.

It partially overshadowed what was an incredible ending. Paul George hit a three-pointer to tie the game with two seconds remaining only to be eclipsed by Harris at the buzzer:

NBA @NBA

CLUTCH! Gary Harris knocks down the three to win it! @Tissot #ThisIsYourTime https://t.co/yQdT0hl6IZ

According to Henry Bushnell of Yahoo Sports, referees and an employee arrived at the scene in the immediate aftermath, preventing it from escalating and getting the fan away from the court.

Royce Young of ESPN.com said there may be a suspension or fine headed Westbrook's way but granted the league could exercise "some grace" for the Thunder guard considering the fan was on the floor and in his face.

"The league judges these things much differently when the player goes into the seats, or at least approaches them," Young added.

Michael Lee of Yahoo Sports recalled the infamous brawl between players and fans during a 2004 game between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers when opining Westbrook won’t get punished severely:

Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee

That loony fan is lucky Russell Westbrook didn’t go Jermaine O’Neal on him (frankly, the NBA is, too). Dude had no business walking up to a player after a game like that. That’s why I doubt the league hands out a serious punishment for that shove. Russ was protecting himself

Westbrook impressed before the incident, tallying 20 points, an incredible 21 assists and nine rebounds while only turning it over three times despite having the ball so often. However, it wasn't enough to prevent Oklahoma City from dropping its second straight game.

The Thunder have a quick turnaround with a Friday matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans.

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