Sigh of relief for OKC as Russell Westbrook avoids suspension, gets away with US$10,000 fine

LOOKING to prevent an early exit from the playoffs, Oklahoma City dodged further trouble as Russell Westbrook avoided suspension for an incident with Utah’s Rudy Gobert, only getting slapped a US$10,000 fine on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).

Westbrook was set to enter the match during a stoppage in the fourth quarter of Game Four on Monday when he made contact with Gobert, who was fouled by Raymond Felton apparently in the groin area and was walking to the bench along with other players after struggling to get up from the hit.

The fourth-seeded Thunder went on to lose the match to fall 1-3 behind the No. Jazz in the Western Conference first round.

Observers believe the incident would have merited a suspension as Westbrook, without being waved on by the game officials, looked to have entered the playing court to get involved in an altercation.

Westbrook gave Gobert a slap in the arm.

The former MVP was assessed a post-game technical foul and will be available for Game Five.

The penalty was announced on Tuesday by NBA Executive Vice President for Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.

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