Russell Westbrook scored 29 for the Thunder after scoring more than 40 in each of his last four games. He had six rebounds and five assists, but the Mavericks frustrated him into both a technical foul and a flagrant-one foul. Both came in the midst of a 21-4 third-quarter run that allowed Dallas to blow the game open.
Westbrook picked up a technical with 8:15 to go in the third quarter when he bounced the ball angrily in referee Marat Kogut’s direction after being called for an offensive foul. Then he got his flagrant with 4:27 to go in the quarter for shoving Harrison Barnes.
Barnes made the flagrant free throws and then another to give the Mavericks their biggest lead at 81-57. He finished with 17 points.
Nowitzki tied his season high for rebounds and is 20 points away from becoming the sixth player to score 30,000. He’ll likely set the mark at home, where Dallas plays its next three games.
Curry, who has scored more than 20 points in five of the team’s last six games, scored eight of Dallas’ last 10 in the second quarter to give the Mavs a 60-50 halftime lead. The Mavericks shot 14 for 20 in the second quarter.
Westbrook scored 14 points in the first quarter and 15 in the third, but was scoreless in the other two periods.
Thunder: Westbrook’s combination of a technical and flagrant-one does not result in an ejection, and he stayed in the game and scored 15 of his team’s 21 points in the quarter. … Victor Oladipo missed his sixth straight game with back spasms.
Mavericks: Wesley Matthews was back in the starting lineup after missing two games with a hip injury, scoring nine points. … Nerlens Noel had his second straight game in double figures, scoring 13. … Dallas beat the Thunder for the first time in the teams’ past six regular-season meetings.
NOT MY MVP
It’s a good thing for Westbrook that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t have a vote in the MVP race.
“You look at what Harden is doing on a team that was 41-41 last year,” Cuban said. “Look what they’re doing now. The Rockets have a top-three record after everybody wrote them off – because of James Harden. That’s the difference.”
Cuban said last year that Westbrook wasn’t a superstar because he hadn’t led an otherwise average team to a 50-win season and a playoff series victory, and he’s sticking to his classification.
“It’s impressive; don’t get me wrong,” Cuban said. “He’s incredible in his own way. But the criteria is the criteria.” Cuban later added: “It’d be no fun if I changed my mind.”
Thunder: Host Portland on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers have won two of the teams’ previous three meetings this year, including a 114-109 win Thursday in Portland.
Mavericks: Host the Lakers on Tuesday, the start of a three-game stretch – all at home – against the three teams with the NBA’s three worst records.