Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was largely to blame for his team's poor play down the stretch of Monday's 104-100 loss in Game 6 of the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder and will be limited in Game 7.
According to Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, the nine-time All-Star said he will be on a minutes restriction in the decisive contest.
Westbrook is working his way back into the lineup following a quad injury. Game 5 was his first one back, and he struggled on his way to seven points on 3-of-13 shooting in 24 minutes. He played 27 minutes in Monday's Game 6 and put up better numbers on paper with 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting.
However, his key mistakes and inability to keep pace with Chris Paul proved costly.
Paul stripped his counterpart on a critical possession in the final two minutes. Westbrook also air-balled a mid-range pull-up in those last two minutes and threw the ball out of bounds with his team trailing by two and less than 10 seconds remaining.
That final turnover came after Paul put his team ahead with two free throws on the previous possession.
Paul also connected on back-to-back three-pointers to tie the game with less than three minutes left after the Thunder fell behind by six and was in full control of the contest for extended stretches.
He finished with 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals and was the best player on the floor in crunch time.
Harden led the way for the Rockets with 32 points but did not touch the ball on the possession Westbrook threw it out of bounds. That surely won't be the plan if a similar situation arises in Wednesday's Game 7, especially since Westbrook will be on a minutes restriction.