Ooookay. We know this for sure — Westbrook is very good at basketball. And he plays even better when angry. Which he appeared to be Monday night.
Westbrook had 36 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, which when combined with 33 points from the one Cuban-approved Thunder Superstar in Kevin Durant proved to be too much for Dallas.
The Thunder won Game 5 118-104, taking the series 4-1 from the Mavericks.
Oklahoma City will tip off the second round in San Antonio Saturday.
After the game, Mavericks coach Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said that the Thunder’s two superstars were fantastic. Two. He was right. Westbrook spoke with his game; Durant spoke with some words, too.
Dallas own superstar Dirk Nowitzki was fantastic all series — he led Dallas with 24 points on 16 shots. The German future Hall of Famer played to the point exhaustion in the last couple of games. He did all he could, but he did not have the talent around him to match up with OKC. For example, the starting Dallas backcourt of Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews were 8-of-25 shooting in this game.
Hopefully, we get to see Nowitzki for at least another year — he can still flat out play the game.
Oklahoma City pulled away down the stretch as Billy Donovan did the smart thing he didn’t always do during the regular season — he played his impressive starting lineup. It went on a late 11-0 run that put the game away. That group defends well, and when Durant and Westbrook are scoring that lineup becomes more dangerous. Expect to see more of that against the Spurs, although that team defends a whole lot better than OKC.
The Thunder get a few days off, then the Western Conference playoffs start to bet very serious.