Russell Westbrook picked up his 16th technical foul of the season Sunday night, meaning he’ll be suspended for one game under the league’s cumulative technical rule.
During the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 116-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers, Westbrook was called for a charging foul, and was hit with a technical for arguing.
Players receive one-game suspensions for every technical foul they pick up from number 16 and after.
For Westbrook and the Thunder, the timing couldn’t be worse. The Thunder are currently tied for eighth place with the New Orleans Pelicans at 43-37, but the Pelicans hold the tiebreaker, meaning they’d make the playoffs over the Thunder if they finish with the same record.
The Thunder must win their final two games of the season while hoping the Pelicans lose at least one of their final two games.
Unless the technical is reviewed and rescinded by the NBA, Westbrook will miss Monday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Here was the technical:
Unless Westbrook said something that crossed the line, his reaction is pretty mild, and given the importance of the game, it’s conceivable that the league could rescind it.
Worsening matters, the Thunder’s loss came on a night Westbrook scored 54 points to go with nine rebounds, and eight assists. The Thunder, who are missing Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, just don’t have the talent or depth to compete, even when Westbrook is posting absurd stat lines.
However, without Westbrook, the Thunder have very little chance of beating a playoff team like the Trail Blazers, likely meaning they will miss the playoffs for the first time in the last five years.
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