Monday, May 28, 2018
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Thunder rolls past Cavaliers


Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka blocks the shot of J.J. Hickson. Hickson had 15 rebounds.


CLEVELAND -- Russell Westbrook dunked on the Cavaliers. Byron Scott slammed them even harder.

Westbrook began a personal 12-point scoring tear by crushing a two-handed jam in the third quarter that awakened his listless Thunder teammates and led Oklahoma City to a 95-75 win Sunday over Cleveland, leaving Scott to doubt his team's toughness.

"I'm really starting to question what type of heart we have as a basketball team," the coach said.

Westbrook scored 14 of his 20 points in the third quarter, helping the Thunder open a 20-point cushion and coast to an easy win. He began his one-man sideshow by delivering a dunk that stunned the Thunder, the Cavs, ushers, vendors, mascots, and 19,000 fans.

"It caught us all by surprise," Kevin Durant said. "That was a big-time dunk. I've been waiting for that one."

Westbrook followed it up with five consecutive layups, spinning around or blowing past any Cleveland defender daring to cover him.

Scott was incensed that none of his players bothered putting a body on Westbrook.

"It was too easy," he said. "He's a great player, but it gets to a point as a team where enough is enough and somebody has to knock him on his [rear end]. It's as simple as that, and that's where the heart part comes in. Or are you just going to keep backing down and taking it?"

Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, had 19 points -- nine below his average -- but the Thunder hardly needed their superstar while improving to 19-6 against Eastern Conference teams.

Daniel Gibson scored 13, and J.J. Hickson had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers.

James Harden scored 16, and Serge Ibaka finished with eight points, 14 rebounds, and seven blocks for the Thunder.

Westbrook and Durant combined for 23 of Oklahoma City's 25 points in the third. With his team up by 19 entering the fourth, coach Scott Brooks rested his two all-stars.

"We still wanted to play the right brand of ball no matter what," said Durant, who had scored at least 20 in 16 straight games. "Play the right way, make the right passes, make the right rotations on defense. But it did feel good to sit a little bit in the fourth."

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