Houston Rockets point guard John Wall and Washington Wizards All-Star Russell Westbrook – the two point guards that were swapped for one another before the start of the regular season, exchanged words during and after the Rockets’ 107-88 win over the Wizards Tuesday night.
Wall, who was solely responsible for leading a 9-2 Rockets run midway through the final frame, fouled Westbrook with 5:16 left to play – which triggered a heated exchange between the two.
John Wall On Spat With Russell Westbrook: ‘That’s What Two Competitive Guys Do’
They both had to be separated before the officials slapped both with a double technical foul.
“That’s what two competitive guys do,” Wall said after the game, per Tim MacMahon ESPN.com. “Russ been kicking my ass for years. This is only my third win against Russ, I think, since I’ve been in the league. So that means that he’s a hell of a talent.
“I know he’s going through injuries, same as I was, and we’re just trying to keep getting better, trying to lead our teams. But [it was] just two competitive guys trash-talking. This ain’t the first time we trash-talked before, and we know how good that he can be.”
In the video, provided by Bleacher Report, the jawing between the two didn’t stop while Westbrook attempted his free-throws. You can then see an enthusiastic Wall clapping his hands behind Russ while he attempts his second shot.
Wall’s 24 points led three Rockets players with 19+ points against Washington Tuesday night. DeMarcus Cousins tallied a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) in his impressive stat line that included 5 steals and one block and Eric Gordon (20) connected on 6-of-13, including a pair of threes.
Russell Westbrook On Trash-Talking: ‘I Don’t Start Talking S—, I Defend Myself’
Bradley Beal scored a game-high 33 points but Westbrook, who flirted with a triple-double (19 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists) in the loss, was asked about the exchange between him and Wall after the game.
“Now listen, I don’t start talking s—,” Westbrook said, via ESPN.com. “I defend myself because I don’t just allow people to say just anything, especially when I know the facts as it pertains to anybody on the court against [me]. So, I think [Wall and DeMarcus Cousins] just started talking s— because they just started to win, started winning at that time.
“So, you know, it’s cool, though. We play them again.”
When asked if the outburst from Westbrook had anything to do with the fact he was facing his former team, Russell replied, “I don’t like losing to anybody,” according to ESPN. And it’s understandably so when you glance at the standings.
Losers of five of their last six outings and with only three games in the win column, the Wizards currently hold the worst record in the NBA (3-10). Rockets (7-9), on the other hand, have won three consecutive games and will look to stretch it to four when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night in Houston.
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