Russell Westbrook, Paul George call out Zaza Pachulia

NBA.com Global on Feb 26, 2018 07:33 AM
Russell Westbrook, Paul George call out Zaza Pachulia
Golden State Warriors' Zaza Pachulia dunks against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

NBA.com staff report

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."

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."

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 (April 4, PHL time) at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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