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Zaza Pachulia’s reputation as one of the most dangerous players in the NBA has come honestly, especially after he undercut Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals last season, a play that KO’d Leonard for the rest of the playoffs.
Pachulia, the starting center for the Golden State Warriors, struck again Saturday night, this time against Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Kyrie made his thoughts on the Zaza fall clear. pic.twitter.com/8cEk8ofFkF
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 25, 2018
And Kyrie Irving was only one of several players who expressed similar reactions to Pachulia’s play.
First, the most recent victim himself, Westbrook.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 25, 2018
Westbrook’s Thunder teammate, Paul George, supported his claim.
Paul George holds nothing back when it comes to Zaza Pachulia. pic.twitter.com/VubgO5KJC7
— 95.7 The Game (@957thegame) February 25, 2018
For his part, Pachulia denied he tried to hurt Westbrook;
After reading Westbrook’s quotes from a reporter’s phone, Pachulia just shook his head before calling Westbrook’s accusations “childish.”
“I don’t want to go back and forth on those kind of things,” Pachulia told reporters. “That’s not the case.”
Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers didn’t agree with Pachulia’s assessment, when asked about it.
For those who may have missed Pachulia’s taking out of Leonard in the WCF last season, here’s a refresher:
Here’s a compilation of some of Pachulia’s… highlights: