Russell Westbrook did it all in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. He catalyzed an early surge as the Oklahoma City Thunder ran out to the lead. He battled LeBron James and.. gasp.. Mario Chalmers in the second half after Miami rallied to take the lead. He also needlessly committed the foul that likely sealed the 104-98 win for the Heat.
It was a busy night.
All told, Westbrook scored 43 points on 20 of 32 shooting, while adding 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal over 45 minutes. The of-criticized 23-year-old accounted for 50% of the Thunder made baskets. Perhaps none of those makes was as emphatic or better showcased his athleticism than a putback dunk late in the first half.
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With the Thunder holding on to a one-point lead late in the second quarter, Thabo Sefolosha drove at the rim. The Swiss defensive specialist's shot bounced off the backboard and then the front rim but Westbrook was soaring in to clean up the miss. Following the shot, Westbrook grabbed the rebound with both hands and slammed it home. The furious flush capped a stellar first half for Westbrook, who scored 18 points before the intermission.