Running away with a win against a Memphis team in disarray after trading away top scorer Rudy Gay, the Thunder found a way to come unhinged, too.
An outburst aimed at his own team earned All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook a third-quarter benching and gave the Grizzlies a glimmer of hope before Oklahoma City closed out a 106-89 home victory Thursday night.
Just when the Thunder seemed to be firmly in control, Westbrook started sniping with his teammates after a possession when he posted up along the left side of the lane and eventually got called for a turnover when Jerryd Bayless stuck with him on defense for 5 seconds.
Westbrook then spiked the ball twice while gesturing toward Thabo Sefolosha and Kevin Durant (game-high 27 points) that they needed to get open. He then hollered toward coach Scott Brooks.
Memphis followed his outburst with 10 straight points to make it a game again — with Westbrook getting an early hook during the stretch and heading down the tunnel toward the locker room.
He sat out about 8 minutes before Brooks put him back in to start the fourth quarter.
Westbrook described it as ‘‘just a little miscommunication.’’ Brooks said it was an offensive play that went awry. Sefolosha acted as though nothing happened.
The result was a mini-implosion by the defending Western Conference champions right in the public eye.
‘‘It was a disagreement,’’ Durant said. ‘‘This is the game of basketball. You have so many different emotions on one team. You’re going to have disagreements. It wasn’t the first. It’s not going to be the last.’’
Warriors 100, Mavericks 97 — David Lee finished an assist short of a triple-double, Klay Thompson scored 27 points and Golden State beat Dallas in Oakland, Calif.
Lee had 15 points, a season-high 20 rebounds and nine assists, and Jarrett Jack scored 13 points, including two free throws with 2 seconds left to help the Warriors win their third straight. Harrison Barnes also had 15 points.
O.J. Mayo scored 25 points to lead the Mavericks, who dropped their second straight. Vince Carter added 22 points and Shawn Marion 18 as Dallas failed to reached 100 points for the first time in 10 games.