Westbrook the Key to Thunder’s Success?
Didn’t take long to get our answer. With a scalding (Kevin) Durant ringing up 15 of his 31 points in the opening quarter, Dallas had to play from behind from the jump when it lacks the offensive firepower to play catch-up. A pivotal 11-point third quarter from (Russell) Westbrook — who makes the Thunder look rather beastly themselves when he’s consistently hitting that midrange jumper — turned it into a runaway.
“You knew he was going to have a good shooting game sooner or later,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Durant.
Said Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki: “Westbrook has been the key. I think sometimes over the last year or whatever he’ll get rattled or turn the ball over or something, [make] a bad decision, but he’s been stellar. He’s been shooting the ball extremely well. He’s been making the right plays.”
And as for the Mavs’ psyche after two heartbreakers and a home-floor humiliation?
“As expected,” Nowitzki said, “it’s not great.”