Russell Westbrook seems to know that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
On his 24th birthday, the Thunder point guard turned a sure-to-be turnover into a nifty layup, using a defender's body to pass to himself in the middle of a late-game comeback against the Pistons Monday night. With the score tied at 79 and less than five minutes to go in the fourth, Westbrook got caught midair and had to improvise, bouncing the ball off of Detroit point guard Brandon Knight before recovering and driving to the hoop. The basket give the Thunder a two-point lead that would be enough to get them past Detroit.
"What a play! That's sick," exclaimed Thunder announcer Brian Davis after the play. "That's playground basketball! That's unbelievable!"
The play highlighted a rally by Oklahoma City, which opened the fourth on a 13-0 run after trailing by 11 to end the third. The Thunder held on to win 92-90 on the strength of Westbrook's season-high 33 points. He also contributed 10 rebounds and four assists -- not counting the pass to himself off of Knight.
Westbrook's deliberate self-pass may have been a one-of-a-kind move, but using an opponent's body to score isn't unheard of even at the collegiate and professional levels. Typically though it's not quite as intentional. This past Sunday, Oregon forward Achijah Berry accidentally scored a goal when the opposing goalkeeper's clearing attempt hit her in the head and rolled all the way to the net.