Charlie Villanueva

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook spit hot fire at Mark Cuban, Charlie Villanueva (video)

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The Mavericks weren’t afraid to go at at the Thunder in their first-round series – whether it was Mark Cuban saying Russell Westbrook isn’t a superstar or Charlie Villanueva interrupting Westbrook’s dance routine.

But with the series wrapped up, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook shot back.

And shot back hard.

When Westbrook was asked about Cuban, Durant interjected:

  • Durant: “Hold up (places hand in front of Westbrook). He’s an idiot. Don’t listen to – he’s an idiot. Alright? That’s what we’ve got to say about that. He’s an idiot. Next question.

Then, Westbrook was asked about Villanueva, who hovered behind him on the court before Game 5:

  • Westbrook: “He said a lot.”
  • Durant: “He’s an idiot, too.”
  • Westbrook: “But now, he get to go home and do whatever he need to to get ready for next year to sit down and watch 82 more games, like he did this year.”
  • Durant: “Might not even be in the league.”

Dayyyuuuuuum.

Remember when people used to question Durant’s killer instinct? Someone check on Villanueva. He cannot be OK after that.

Kevin Durant, Thunder light up Mavericks for 131 points in Game 3

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How would Kevin Durant respond to his horrific shooting in a Game 2 loss to the Mavericks?

If you didn’t already know, Durant slammed shut any questions late in the first quarter. He burst past Justin Anderson, jumped by David Lee and twisted around the rim for a powerful dunk.

Too much Thunder.

Durant scored 34 points, matching Klay Thompson for the 2016-postseason high, in Oklahoma City’s 131-102 win Thursday. The Thunder’s 131 points were the most in a playoff game since the Clippers beat the Warriors 138-98 in 2014.

While running up the score, outscoring the Mavericks in each quarter, the Thunder reminded everyone why they’re so much more of a complete package in this series.

Oklahoma City won big twice. Dallas won close once. At 2-1, this series is technically as close as can be. In reality, it’s not.

The Thunder have again seized control, pressuring Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to get more from his out outmanned team.

Russell Westbrook (26 points and 15 assists) pushed the pace and found his teammates. His defense, still far from ideal, looked better than Game 2, especially blocking a Dirk Nowitzki dunk.

Enes Kanter (21 points on 6-of-7 shooting), Dion Waiters (19 points on 7-of-11 shooting) and Serge Ibaka (16 points on 7-of-9 shooting) provided more than enough complementary offense.

Dallas just couldn’t keep up, though Raymond Felton put up a little fight.

But even in those trivial moments, Oklahoma City got the last laugh. Westbrook hit a late jumper over dance interrupter Charlie Villanueva.

Charlie Villanueva on Russell Westbrook diss: Directed at me or Cameron Payne?

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant didn’t like Charlie Villanueva interrupting Westbrook’s pregame dance routine with Cameron Payne.

Durant called it “fake s—,” and Westbrook agreed with the “fake” descriptor. Then, Westbrook added another assessment:

That’s for the guys that don’t play. You’ve got to do something.

Villanueva responded:

Villanueva:

I’ve heard Russell Westbrook talking about those are for the guys that don’t play. And I don’t necessarily know who he’s talking about, because, Cameron Payne and myself, we both had the same stat line.

Then, Kevin Durant added his two cent. But Kevin is a good kid, so I’m just going to leave him alone.

If you want to go dancing and stuff like that, go to a night club. Go to a club and dance. Go to Dancing with the Stars and be dancer. You want to battle and dance? We can battle. But not on the basketball game. Not on a basketball game.

Plus, they were in my way, too. So, I wasn’t necessarily interrupting their dance.

I can’t wait to see what Villanueva and Payne do for Game 3. As Westbrook said, the guys who don’t play have to do something.

Westbrook might do something himself, too.

Mavericks’ JaVale McGee trolls Thunder after loss. Because he can.

Associated Press
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Dallas Mavericks big man JaVale McGee had a quality seat for his team’s dramatic win over the Thunder and Steven Adamsjust-too-late putback attempt (McGee was a DNP-CD). ,

After the game, McGee went to the “crying Jordan” meme to rub a little salt in Oklahoma City’s wounds.

Early in Game 3 Thursday we’re going to see if this and Charlie Villanueva’s antics are just tugging on Superman’s cape.

Clippers beat Mavs 98-91 for 5th straight victory

Associated Press
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin shot 2 of 11 in the first half, when the Clippers were in a struggle with the Dallas Mavericks.

In the locker room, his teammates urged him to keep shooting and while Griffin appreciated the encouragement, he knew he had to do more than settle for jumpers.

Griffin sparked the Clippers in a dominant third quarter, and they went on to win 98-91 on Sunday, snapping the Mavs’ six-game winning streak and preventing them from clinching a playoff berth.

“I tried to put a little more aggression into defense and try to let that get me going,” said Griffin, who had 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in his best game since returning a week ago from a three-month absence.

Jamal Crawford scored 22 points, J.J. Redick added 20 and DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the playoff-bound Clippers’ fifth straight win.

Raymond Felton led Dallas with 21 points – two off his season high – off the bench. Deron Williams added 15 points and Dirk Nowitzki 14.

“The third quarter was a bit of a killer,” Nowitzki said. “We were missing good looks.”

The loss kept the Mavs (41-39) in seventh place in the Western Conference, a game behind Memphis with two games to play. Dallas needs either a victory or a Houston loss to clinch a playoff berth for the 15th time in 16 years. The Rockets beat the Lakers 130-110 on Sunday.

The Mavs rallied to close within five in the final 3:45 but Griffin asserted himself down the stretch, scoring and assisting on an alley-oop dunk by DeAndre Jordan, and the Clippers eventually restored their lead to 10.

“Blake just got into the defense,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He just turned into this guy who started playing with amazing force and intensity. He started rolling (to the basket) and putting pressure on their defense.”

The teams played nearly even in the first half, with the Clippers leading 49-47 at the break. Los Angeles got its first double-digit lead of the game in the third, when Dallas shot 3 of 18 from the floor.

Leading by three, the Clippers closed on a 20-6 run to lead 76-59 going into the fourth. Griffin scored six points and grabbed the offensive rebound after Jordan missed a free throw, feeding Redick for a 3-pointer in the spurt.

“Just his presence was big for us,” Chris Paul said about Griffin. “Down the stretch, that was the Blake that we know. He was aggressive.”

The Mavs tried to slow down the Clippers by fouling Jordan, but it didn’t work entirely. He finished 6 of 23 from the line, but made two foul shots that contributed to his team’s dominance in the third quarter.

Dallas got to 83-74 in the fourth, forcing the Clippers to bring Redick and Paul back in. Williams promptly banked in a jumper to cut the Mavs’ deficit to seven. They closed to 85-79 on a 3-pointer by Charlie Villanueva.

Paul finished with five points, seven rebounds and 11 assists.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Their six-game winning streak tied for the team’s longest this season. … No team had scored over 93 points during their streak. … G J.J. Barea sat out with a right groin strain. … Nowitzki averaged 23.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in his first three games against the Clippers this season.

Clippers: F Paul Pierce sat out to rest. … The Clippers won the season series 3-1 for the fifth year in a row. … They’ve won 11 of their last 15 regular-season games against the Mavs.

WILLIAMS RETURNS

Williams returned to the Mavs’ starting lineup after missing a couple weeks because of a left abdominal strain. He shot 6 of 11, had four rebounds and three assists to go with four fouls in 28 minutes.

“He was aggressive, especially in the first half,” Nowitzki said. “I liked how he pushed it on the break and tried to get into the lane and collapse the defense. When a guy comes back from injury you look how he moves, and I thought he looked great.”

CRITIQUING HIS FORM

Jordan got another taste of getting hacked by an opponent, a familiar tactic sure to be employed against him in the playoffs.

“It was more of a rest period for me and the rest of the guys,” he joked about his 23 trips to the line. “They looked great, except for a couple that were line drives. My teammates have confidence in me when I am up there, and that is all that matters. I’m going to be continue to be confident and shoot the basketball. It will happen in the playoffs.”