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El Paisano

Did Zaza Pachulia Flop for the win?

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Did Zaza Pachulia Flop for the win?

Pachulia lands on Westbrook

Pachulia lands on Westbrook

Pachulia lands on Westbrook

Pachulia lands on Westbrook

Stephanie Medina

In the late third quarter of the Golden State Warriors 112-80 win Saturday night, Oklahoma City Thunder Guard Russel Westbrook said Warriors center Zaza Pachulia intentionally tried to hurt him.

As Westbrook drove to the basket and shot a floater over Nick Young, the ball hit the front of the rim. As Westbrook and Young jumped for the rebound, they collided with each other before falling on the hardwood. Pachulia, who was standing nearby, fell on the ground landing on Westbrook’s left leg. Westbrook immediately grabbed his left knee and shook his head in disbelief. In the post game conference, a reporter asked Westbrook if he thought it was intentional. Westbrook had a feisty conversation with the reporter.

“What do you mean what happened? What’d you think happened? Don’t lie, don’t lie, you saw the instant replay  four times. What happened?” said Westbrook.

The reporter answered that Pachulia fell on his leg.

“Thank you. Don’t ask me a dumb question you know the answer to.” said Westbrook.

Another reporter asked him if Westbrook saw what happened and if he thought it was intentional.

“Obviously, it was intentional. Nobody touched him, he fell on my leg, tried to hurt me. But hey, that’s how it goes,” said Westbrook.

Kevin Durant came to Pachulia’s defense saying he’s clumsy and not trying to hurt anyone.

“I don’t think Zaza is trying to hurt anybody. He is clumsy. Don’t get me wrong. A lot of big guys are. But i watched the tape. I seen Nick’s foot get caught in Zaza’s leg. It might have tripped him up a bit. I don’t think he’s trying to hurt Russ. But it did look to the fans’ view, and I’m sure to Westbrook, it looked like a weird play, but I slowed it down and I seen some clips and pictures everywhere. Nicks leg got caught in Zaza’s leg. I don’t think he was trying to hurt him at all, but it was unfortunate play. I’m glad Russ didn’t get hurt,” said Durant.

Pachulia has the reputation in the NBA of being a dirty player. He has had other altercations with players involving him “falling”.  Thunder forward Paul George said it’s his history.

“You know his history. You know nobody pushed him. He aimed where he was gonna fall. That’s Zaza making a Zaza play. He’s on the end of hurting a lot of guys,” said Paul George.

ESPN approached Pachulia, he didn’t have anything to say. With Westbrook it’s more personal. Pachulia and Westbrook had an incident last season in January. Westbrook attempted Enes Kanter screen play and turned the corner. Pachulia was right there and slammed his body right into Westbrook. As Westbrook hit the floor and laid there, Pachulia stood over him and starred.

The NBA hasn’t made any movement or announced to look deeper into the situation. They haven’t said if Pachulia is going to get a fine or possibly suspension. Until any movement is made, the Warriors stand by Pachulia. Coach Kerr of the Warriors said Pachulia was just doing a good job of being physical and staying in the game.

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Did Zaza Pachulia Flop for the win?