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Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley reignite long-running feud

Patrick Beverley and Russell Westbrook have history.

This we know. The continuation, this we should expect.

Wednesday night, the Rockets won the battle — a chippy 102-93 contest in which James Harden scored 47 points — and Westbrook re-ignited the war.

During his postgame media scrum, asked about Beverley’s defense, Westbrook said: “What’d James score? 44? 47? Pat Bev trick y’all, man, like he playing defense. He don’t guard nobody, man. He just running around, doing nothing.”

Westbrook commended Beverley for playing hard, that he sometimes does a good job, but tonight “James took advantage of him and got what he wanted.”

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported that Beverley wasn’t interested in responding, saying “Don’t start that, don’t start that. I don’t care about that.”

Yet MacMahon followed up to discover that, per ESPN Stats & Info, Harden was 0-of-6 with four turnovers when defended by Beverley.

Houston was up two with about two minutes left when Beverley, a former Rocket, fouled out. Harden made both free throws before grabbing a rebound on the other end and hitting a 3 to make it 95-88.

Beverley was given a technical foul during a timeout after the play and Harden hit the two free throws. When Beverley got his sixth foul, Westbrook celebrated with a mocking wave, although the two did not exchange words. After the game, Beverley told reporters he was upset about his sixth foul — which came when he bumped chests with Harden away from the ball — as well as the technical foul he got.

“I got a technical foul because I looked at the ref, I guess, too long, and I guess you can’t look at people in this league now,” Beverley said after the game. “I don’t know. I don’t feel like that’s fair. As a unit, we work too hard — coaches work too hard, players work too hard, staff work too hard — to prepare for each game, and to let a game come down to referees and free throws I don’t think is fair. I think we deserved better, I think fans deserved better, and the people who paid their hard-earned money to watch us play, both teams, I think they deserved better also.”

The Beverley-Westbrook rivalry goes back to the 2013 playoffs when Beverley, then playing for the Rockets, attempted to steal the ball from Westbrook as he was going to the sideline to call timeout. Westbrook tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee on the play and missed the remainder of that season’s playoffs.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.