Russell Westbrook has responded to the critics, leading his Oklahoma City Thunder to a game three win over Portland.
The former NBA league MVP, has been a non-factor in the opening two games, thoroughly outplayed by Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard as the Thunder fell behind 2-0 in the seven-game series.
- Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder facing early playoff exit
- Adams feeling 'pissed off' before crunch Thunder match
But Westbrook made a promise to himself, his team and OKC fans ahead of Saturday's matchup on Oklahoma that he would turn his form around.
And he did. Westbrook led all scorers with 33-points, adding 11 assists and five rebounds as the Thunder broke a four-game Western Conference playoff losing streak with a 120-108 victory.
Kiwi Steven Adams was relatively quiet in his 35 minutes, pulling down six boards and scoring 10-points.
Portland trailed by as many as 16 early in the third quarter but a 25-point quarter from Lillard propelled his side to within two early in the final frame.
But Westbrook, Dennis Schroder and Jerami Grant lifted the home side in the fourth quarter as the Thunder outscored Portland 34-26.
Lillard netted 32-points for the Trail Blazers, while Enes Kanter (19) and CJ McCollum (21) also had strong offensive nights.
OKC can level the series at 2-2 with a win on Monday.
In other Saturday playoff action, the Toronto Raptors hold a 2-1 lead over the Orlando Magic in their Eastern Conference series. 30-points from forward Pascal Siakam lifted them to a 98-93 game three win in Orlando.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics are on the verge of a series sweep against the Indiana Pacers after Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown combined for 42-points in a 104-96 game three win.