Russell Westbrook dropped 45 points on the second night of a back-to-back as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 109-98 on Thursday night.
Oklahoma City improved to 28-19 on the season. They’ve won three straight.
Westbrook’s fourth quarter was yet another sensational performance that has been one after another of breathtaking sequences that leave you just wanting more. He scored 17 in the fourth quarter, including three three-pointers that were nothing but net.
Dallas had cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 98-92 with 2:45 remaining, but Westbrook on the assault. He nailed a big three. Then, a pull up 21-footer. Capped it off by nailing another pull up three. A six-point game turned into a 10-point contest just like that.
Dallas was without four of their top players, either due to injury or rest. However, the Mavs C-team made it a game for a majority of the contest. Harrison Barnes scored 31 points, and Justin Anderson added 17 for the Mavericks. They had won five of seven.
While the final score was double-digits, the entire first half was a slugfest. Oklahoma City trailed by at least seven when they fell down 44-37 behind Barnes and Seth Curry getting hot from deep. Oklahoma City locked it down by nailing a couple of threes right before the break.
Oklahoma City trailed 55-53 at halftime.
After Enes Kanter was forced to leave the game in the second quarter, Westbrook was forced to carry more of the offensive load, finishing with his seventh 40-point game of the season.
“Enes has a right forearm fracture,” Donovan said. “But was confirmed after the game.”
Kanter has fractured his forearm and is out indefinitely.
“We’re going to lose Enes for a few games,” Donovan said. “It’s a part of the 82 games.”
With Kanter being hurt, Oklahoma City’s bench struggled. Their 20 points is the second lowest total of the season for this bench.
“I am disappointed personally,” Donovan said. “Because he was playing very good basketball.”
Victor Oladipo added 17 points, and Steven Adams had 15 points for the Thunder.
Oklahoma City is off until Sunday when they go back on the road. They’ll be in Cleveland on Sunday for a matinee. Game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m on ABC. We’ll have your complete coverage here on Thunder Digest.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Force Turnovers: D
Dallas only turned it over 12 times, their season average. Oklahoma City scored 16 on turnovers and that’s something Oklahoma City can improve upon. Dallas is pretty good at taking care of the ball, but the Thunder appears lackluster at times.
Big third: A+
Oklahoma City outscored the Mavericks by 16 in the third quarter. They turned a two-point deficit into a 14-point lead. Oklahoma City really flexed their muscles and showed some serious adjustments and improved. Oklahoma City can do better by just playing better in the first half.
Don’t take ’em for granted: C
Dallas hung around all game long. The Thunder had a 14-point lead heading into the fourth, but saw it dwindle to as little as six in the fourth. That’s before Westbrook, of course. An almost devastating loss turned into an okay win. Can’t scare us like that.