PBT Extra: Harden vs. Westbrook, Clippers vs. Jazz highlight Western Conference playoffs

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Old friends are meeting in San Antonio. Damian Lillard is set to put on a futile but entertaining show against Stephen Curry and the Warriors.

However, it’s the other two series that should be interesting in the Western Conference playoffs in the NBA. First, it’s the Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden showdown when the Thunder face the Rockets — a series that will shape the narrative of the MVP race but has no actual impact on the voting.

Then there is Utah vs. the Los Angels Clippers in what should be a very competitive series. The Clippers are playing well but the Jazz have a fantastic defense led by Rudy Gobert, a star on the rise in Gordon Hayward, and if George Hill can give Chris Paul some trouble this series will go down to the wire.

I break it all down in this latest PBT Extra.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.

Did Reggie Jackson distract Jimmy Butler into missing game-tying free throw? (video)

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With the Timberwolves trailing the Pistons by three and 6.2 seconds left, Jimmy Butler drew a foul on a 3-pointer.

Butler made the first two free throws then, just before he got the ball for the third, Reggie Jackson interrupted to talk to Stanley Johnson, who was in rebounding position. Butler missed the free throw, and Detroit won 100-97 after an intentional foul.

Butler said Jackson didn’t affect him, but Butler’s side eye during the delay at least appeared to speak loudly.

Bulls’ Kris Dunn dunks on T.J. Warren after savvy/explosive halfcourt drive (video)

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Kris Dunn had a nice weekend – 39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds as the Bulls beat the Hornets and lost to the Suns – punctuated by this dunk in Chicago’s 113-105 loss to the Suns last night.

T.J. Warren paid the price for Tyler Ulis overplaying a Robin Lopez screen Dunn cleverly never used.