After Mark Cuban said in a radio interview that Westbrook was an All-Star -- not a superstar -- Westbrook knocked Cuban’s team out of the postseason by scoring 36 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out nine assists.
Westbrook and Kevin Durant each scored 30 points in a playoff game for the ninth time. Only one pair has had more games in which both scored 30, and Durant and Westbrook have a long way to go to catch those two.
In Game 5, Westbrook saw 15 plays on which he was the only Thunder player to touch the ball (excluding inbounds passes). Westbrook went 8-of-12 and drew three shooting fouls (5-of-6 from the line) on those plays to turn around a trend of inefficient play. In the first four games of the series, he had shot 34 percent when he was the only player to touch the ball.
Westbrook passed Gary Payton and moved into second place in career points in SuperSonics/Thunder history. Durant and Westbrook now rank Nos. 1 and 2.
The Thunder advanced to the Western Conference semifinals a season after not making the playoffs.
Sharing the ball
Westbrook's 95 assist opportunities against the Mavericks were almost as many as the rest of his teammates' assists combined (102) and nearly three times as many as those of any other Thunder player. The Thunder shot 59 percent off Westbrook passes in the series, including going 9-of-13 in Game 5.
Westbrook attempted 32 uncontested field goals, and his passes led to 41 uncontested field goal attempts this postseason. Both are the most in the NBA.
Looking ahead to Thunder-Spurs
Our Basketball Power Index gives the Spurs a 74 percent chance to win the Western Conference semifinals series against the Thunder. This will be the sixth meeting between the teams in the postseason. The Spurs have won four of the previous five, including the most recent, the 2014 Western Conference finals.
Under Gregg Popovich, the Spurs are 7-0 in Game 1 when coming off a sweep of the previous series. Popovich is trying to join Phil Jackson and Pat Riley as the only coaches to reach the Conference finals 10 times since the current playoff format began in 1984.
The matchup to watch will be Durant versus Kawhi Leonard. Durant is 6-of-17 this season when Leonard is his primary defender.