Another physical game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors has reignited the debate about Zaza Pachulia's style of play.
Late in the third quarter of the Warriors' 112-80 victory, Russell Westbrook drove to the basket and got tangled with Nick Young while battling for the rebound. Both players fell to the floor. A moment later, Pachulia entered the picture and came crashing down on Westbrook’s legs.
In Westbrook's view, this was no accident.
"Obviously it was intentional," Westbrook said after the game. "Nobody touched him, he fell over my leg. He tried to hurt me. But hey, that's how it goes."
Russell Westbrook on Zaza Pachulia falling on him, and asked if he’s a dirty player: “Yeah. For sure.” pic.twitter.com/w9ZH0AwVP1— Royce Young (@royceyoung) February 25, 2018
Asked if he thought was Pachulia a dirty player, Westbrook said "Yeah. For sure."
Paul George echoed Westbrook's assessment: "He aimed where he was going to fall. That's Zaza making a Zaza play."
Paul George holds nothing back when it comes to Zaza Pachulia. pic.twitter.com/VubgO5KJC7— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) February 25, 2018
Westbrook and Pachulia have tangled before. Last season the two collided near center court in a Jan. 18 game at The Oracle. Pachulia was assessed a Flagrant 1 foul, but the lasting image was Pachulia standing over Westbrook.
Pachulia has a history of being involved in questionable incidents, including the closeout on Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of last year's Western Conference finals that ended Leonard's season.
The Warriors and Thunder will meet again April 3 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.