Two things to take from the Oklahoma City Thunder beating the Dallas Mavericks 119-108 to take a 3-1 lead in the series: One is Kevin Durant is a dirty player and it’s good he finally gets caught in the act. The other is Russell Westbrook and Enes Kanter slicing the Mavs defense to pieces.
The moment everyone remembers from the game that probably ended the Mavs chances of making this series a bit longer was Durant, who has already done his fair share of disgusting plays in this series , hitting Justin Anderson on the head and getting ejected for it, with the foul called a flagrant 2. Durant later said the flagrant was the right call but he had no intent to hurt Anderson. But watching the replay it looks like he never meant for his hand to reach the ball. Besides outplaying the Mavericks for most of this series, the Thunder seem to be really angry about something, Durant especially. He’s taking it out on Mavs rookies.
Durant finished the game with 19 points, ejected with 50 seconds to go. It wasn’t the best of games for him, but it didn’t matter. Kanter is enjoying the Dallas hospitality, scoring 28 points in game 4 on 12-of-13 from the field in just 26 minutes, and is averaging 24.5 points in games 3 and 4, with the Mavs attempts of slowing things down and making it physical not really working.
Westbrook also didn’t seem to get caught up in things unrelated to actual basketball, finishing with 25 points and 15 assists. He’s averaging 23.5 points and 11.8 assists per game in this series. And if it matters to anyone who cares about this imaginary, inner battles, he’s outplaying Durant. Yes.
Durant won’t be suspended just like Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics wasn’t suspended for a much uglier hit against the Atlanta Hawks. The NBA seems to try and intervene as little as possible during the playoffs, even when there’s good reason to. There’s enough evidence to show Durant was looking to hurt Anderson, but it’s easy to argue against it. Durant has a mean streak unlike contrary belief thinking he isn’t “bad” enough to lead a team to the NBA championship. But if it’s rookies playing for the Mavericks, he doesn’t mind being “evil”, and for some reason it happens when his team isn’t having any problem dominating the game.