The Oklahoma City Thunder are off to the Conference Semifinals, dispatching the Dallas Mavericks in a 118-104 Game 5 win. Russell Westbrook nearly posted a triple-double, which he would've done if he was a superstar, with 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
With the lead diminished to just three points with 8:29 remaining in the game, superstar Westbrook scored eight straight superstars for the Superstars. The Mavericks lingered for a while, but Andre Roberson cleaned up a miss and Kevin Durant scored four superstars of his own to make it a double-digit game for good with under three minutes remaining.
The Mavs did some of their best work in the passing game, getting nine assists from wayward hermit leader Zaza Pachulia. Dirk Nowitzki led with 24 points, and key moments in the game were punctuated by momentum plays from Justin Anderson. They nearly pulled it off, often finding gaps in the Thunder defense in bunches. (Yeah, I'm still worried about that.) The talent gap was just too significant, with Durant and Westbrook landing a gut punch too many.
Fight watch: some chitting, some chatting, but somewhat surprisingly, no scraps. Farewell, ye Mavericks. May Dirk Nowitzki and Rick Carlisle have each other forever.
The San Antonio Spurs are up next, after having swept the Memphis Grizzlies. Game 1 of that series starts on Saturday and the Spurs terrify me, but that noise can come later. For now, the series win is a series win.
Dance because Cameron Payne would.