Paul George called Russell Westbrook "a man of his word" after leading the Thunder to a highly charged Game 3 win over the Trail Blazers.
Westbrook said his display in a Game 2 loss in Portland was "unacceptable" and stepped up in a big way Friday, contributing 33 points and 11 assists as the Thunder won 120-108 for their first victory of the series.
The Blazers threatened to move toward a 3-0 series lead with a big third quarter during which Damian Lillard scored 25 of his 32 points, but the point guard was shut down in the fourth quarter as Oklahoma City took the victory.
"He's a man of his word," George said of Westbrook. "He came out, he led, we got behind him and he put us on his back."
Westbrook did his "rock the baby" celebration after scoring an and-one jump shot over Lillard in the third quarter, and the two continued to engage in verbal sparring as OKC closed in on victory.
George was also involved in the back and forth and he threw down a dunk after time expired that did not impress Lillard.
"It's the playoffs," Lillard said, "people do things that maybe they're trying to get under somebody's skin, or maybe trying to make a statement.
"It doesn't matter. The game was over; the game was decided. Typically, people say you don't do stuff like that, but honestly I really couldn't care less.
"The game had been decided, and if that's something they needed to do to make themselves feel more dominant or feel better, then so be it."
When asked about the dunk, George reiterated Westbrook's last answer in a tense news conference by saying: "Next question."
Dennis Schroder also taunted Lillard with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter by copying his "Dame Time" celebration.
"I did see it," Lillard said. "I thought it was kind of funny that he waited so late in the game, when he knew the game was decided, to do it.
"And he also hadn't done that in the first two games. So I thought that was interesting."