Westbrook-led Thunder finishes off Mavericks
OKLAHOMA CITY — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook is an All-Star, but not a superstar.
Westbrook gave him plenty of reasons to reconsider.
He had 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, and the Thunder beat the Mavericks 118-104 on Monday night to win the first-round playoff series 4-1 and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
Cuban also said during the pregame interview that Kevin Durant was the only superstar on the team. Westbrook was asked after the game about Cuban's comments, and Durant answered for him.
"He's an idiot," Durant said of Cuban. "He's an idiot. Don't listen to (him), he's an idiot. That's what we've got to say about that. He's an idiot. Next question."
Westbrook was 13 of 23 from the field and 7 of 8 on free throws. Durant scored 33 points and Steven Adams added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who will play the San Antonio Spurs in a series that begins Saturday.
Oklahoma City shot 50.6 percent from the field and outrebounded the Mavericks 42-35.
The Thunder lost Game 2 85-84 at home, then won three straight, including two on the road.
"They just played gimmicky defense," Durant said. "They didn't really play solid. They weren't really disciplined the entire series. That's how we were able to shoot such a high percentage except for that second game. It took all of that to win by one point — us having a historically bad night shooting the basketball. But for the most part, we got whatever we wanted on the offensive end."
Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points for Dallas.
The Mavericks trimmed Oklahoma City's lead to 107-103 with 4:08 left before the Thunder pulled away, starting with a follow shot by Andre Roberson.
"We had it where it was a four-point game," Nowitzki said. "Westbrook heaves one from 35 feet, and all we need is to get the rebound, but Roberson gets the loose ball and lays it in. I feel like that sums up this entire series. Every time we were right there, they always came up with every loose ball the entire series."
After that, Durant hit a fadeaway and was fouled by Nowitzki, who was then called for a technical. Durant made both free throws to put Oklahoma City up 113-103 with 2:49 to play.
HORNETS 89, HEAT 85: At Charlotte, N.C., Kemba Walker scored a playoff career-high 34 points, Jeremy Lin added 21 and Charlotte beat Miami to even their first-round series at 2-2.
Walker scored 11 straight Charlotte points in the fourth quarter after Miami had cut the lead to two with 6:07 left. Courtney Lee sank two free throws with 4.6 seconds left after being fouled on an offensive rebound to seal the win.
Lee finished with 11 points and helped hold Dwyane Wade to 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Miami.
Joe Johnson led Miami with 16 points, while Luol Deng had 15.
Charlotte dominated in the paint for the second straight game, outscoring Miami 44-30.