Westbrook, Durant Keep Thunder Rolling In Toronto
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
Thunder superstars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 60 points, Westbrook getting another triple-double, Durant kept his scoring streak alive and most important the Thunder kept their winning streak going with a 119-100 road rout at Toronto.
OKC has now won eight straight games and accomplished something no other team in the NBA has done in more than 20 years. The Thunder have scored at least 110 points in all eight contests, something that hasn’t happened since the Orlando Magic did it in 1994.
And of those eight straight wins this may have been the most impressive considering it came on the road against a team that was playing well and challenging for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Thunder focused in on this game wanting payback for the Raptors 103-98 win in Oklahoma City early in the season a game that saw Toronto players shoot a whopping 39 free throws to help get the win.
"We talked about that. We gave them the game out in OKC," Durant said afterwards. "That was so long ago but we had that in the back of our minds tonight and we came out and responded well."
They came out with a 15-3 run to start the game putting the Raptors on their heels and on notice that this game would be different than the one played at The Peake.
Durant nearly had a triple-double with 34 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. His shot was a little off going just 11-for-27 overall and 3-for-10 from deep but he only turned the ball over once and he extended his scoring streak to 59 straight games with at least 20 points.
Westbrook added to his triple-double collection with his 16th of the season. One more and he’ll tie Magic Johnson for the most triple-doubles in a season in the last 30 years.
As he usually does, Russ downplayed his accomplishment after the game.
“It's something I never take for granted but I like winning, so regardless of what the numbers say I like to win the game and make sure my teammates feel good about themselves and figure it out from there," Westbrook said.
He and Durant also extended a record they share. It was the 22nd game this season in which each player had at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had the previous record of 20 such games in the 1991-92 season.
Westbrook again had one of the more amazing hustle plays you’ll ever see. After hitting the first of two free throws about halfway through the fourth quarter he missed the second but anticipating where the rebound was going Westbrook beat everyone else to the ball, grabbed it and then went up and dropped it through the net for a truly unconventional 3-point play.
At that point the Raptors, who were probably already thinking it wasn’t their night, absolutely knew it after that.
With all the talk about OKC’s dynamic duo don’t overlook what’s happening with some of the other guys, especially Serge Ibaka. Ibaka has appeared to struggle at times this season with inconsistent play. He’s had some nagging minor injuries and was even given the Indiana game off to rest on March 19th.
He’s responded with some solid efforts lately and last night was no exception as Ibaka scored 15 points on 6-for-12 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. He also blocked a couple of shots. He played 33 minutes and during that time the Thunder outscored the Raptors by 39 points leading Dion Waiters to declare, “if he plays like that, blocks shots, makes shots, gets out and runs…we gonna be hard to stop.”
The same could pretty much be said of Waiters and he had another solid game with 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting including 3-for-4 on threes.
The Thunder are in Detroit today for a reunion with Reggie Jackson tonight. Tipoff is set for 6:40 Oklahoma time.