OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook picked up his 16th technical foul of the season late in the first half against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, and if the infraction isn’t rescinded, it will result in an automatic one-game suspension.
Westbrook was hit with the technical by referee Tyler Ford in the backcourt after not getting a call on a drive. Westbrook fouled Klay Thompson out of frustration and then proceeded to argue about the call. A couple of plays before that, Paul George committed a frustration foul deep in the backcourt after not getting a call, as well.
Asked if he’s hopeful the technical could be rescinded, Westbrook responded, “Next question.” Asked if he was aware he was at 15, Westbrook said, “Next question.” And finally, asked if he’s disappointed to be facing a one-game suspension, he said, “Next question.”
Westbrook has had two technicals rescinded this season already.
“I understand sometimes when those guys are going in there and they’re getting hit and they’re getting fouled, it’s hard,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “And these guys invest a lot into the game. Obviously, I want Russell playing and I want him out there, but we’ll see what happens and how this all shakes out.”
Westbrook is routinely near the top of the technical foul list but has never reached 16 for a suspension. During the 2014-15 season, Westbrook picked up a 16th but had it rescinded the following day to avoid the suspension.
A one-game suspension for Westbrook would cost him $245,891. If there is a bright side, the Thunder would save $522,518 in luxury-tax payments because of the suspension, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
In the Thunder’s 110-88 loss to the Warriors, Westbrook played probably his worst game of the season, scoring just seven points on 2-of-16 shooting (0-of-7 from 3), with eight rebounds and nine assists, plus five fouls and a technical that likely will earn him a suspension.
“Have I changed in 11 years?” Westbrook said when asked if he considered changing his approach with his shot selection considering how he was being defended.
Westbrook is averaging 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game this season.