“They're in a great position. One of their challenges is going to be how to manage the time. They're probably going to have a week before they start. Scott Brooks is doing a great job there. They're a team positioned to be right in the hunt with everybody.”
WESTBROOK PLAYING BOTH ENDS
In the first two games of the Thunder-Mavs series, Russell Westbrook was an offensive force, averaging 28.5 points on 52.2 percent shooting.
In Games 3 and 4, however, Westbrook averaged just 16 points on just 35.5 percent shooting.
But his defense in the final two games made a huge difference.
Westbrook defended Mavs guard Jason Terry wonderfully down the stretch in both games, and in the closeout game Westbrook came up with two steals that helped the Thunder take and maintain the lead for good.
“Russell was phenomenal for us,” said Kevin Durant. “People probably won't talk about it but his defense was disruptive in the fourth. And he and James Harden's offensive input and Russ' defense is the reason we got that lead and kept the lead.”
The Thunder did not practice Sunday. The team will have an optional day Monday before resuming practice Tuesday. …The Thunder defeated the Mavericks nine times in 10 games this season, including two preseason games. … After averaging a league-leading 3.65 blocked shots in the regular season, Serge Ibaka averaged 3.25 blocks in the opening rough against the Mavs.
Durant on Harden: “He was phenomenal in the fourth. His pick-and-roll game is unreal. It's fun to watch, fun to be a part of.”