Durant, Westbrook combine for 77 to lead Thunder past Suns 102-90By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Tue, Jan 15, 2013 12:50 AM EST
PHOENIX - Russell Westbrook told Kevin Durant to stay aggressive down the stretch. Durant said the same thing back to his Oklahoma City running mate. They listened to each other, and the Phoenix Suns were simply no match. Durant and Westbrook combined for 77 points Monday, including 47 of their team's 51 points in the second half and won their 30th game of the season, 102-90, over the struggling Suns. "I wasn't aware (he and Durant were doing all the scoring). I was just aware we were winning," said Westbrook, who was 5-for-21 in a win at Portland Sunday but rebounded with a season high. "We did a good job of taking care of the road." Durant finished with 41 points -- 19 in the fourth quarter alone. Westbrook finished with 36, including 20 in the second half. "We basically lost to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant," Phoenix center Marcin Gortat said. "The pick and roll between these two guys is just ridiculous. "What can you do (against Durant)? I'm going to be silly right now, but maybe break his arm, break his leg? You can't do anything. You can double him, triple him and he's still going to score." Kevin Martin added 12 points, all in the first half, for the Thunder, who improved to an NBA-best 30-8. They are 18-4 this season when both Durant and Westbrook score at least 20 points in the same game -- this time they got a lot more than that. "It was just the natural flow of the game, the way they were playing us," Durant said. "Russ got it going early and I just tried to play off of my teammates and he told me to be aggressive. Luckily, my shots were falling. "(Westbrook is) a sight to see any night, making great passes and running our team. Tonight he was hitting the jumps shot, getting to the rim and making some spectacular plays. He carried us early on and in the fourth quarter. He told me to be aggressive." Oklahoma City led by just four points at 76-72 with 10 minutes left before its two superstars reeled off the next 24 Thunder points to close out the game. Durant added the exclamation point with 2:23 left on a three-point play, flying over Gortat for an emphatic slam that left brought even Phoenix fans to their feet. "I think I got away with a carry," Durant admitted with a smile. "I saw the lane and (Gortat) does such a great job of contesting at the rim, I just tried to finish with some strength. It's feels good to see (fans) recognize an opposing team's play. People are just fans of the game and that's good to see." Gortat had a different view. "I was looking for my car keys under the basket," he deadpanned. "I mean, it happens. I am not going to deny that it was probably one of the top three dunks of the year, right?" Shannon Brown had 21 points for the Suns, who have lost 11 of their last 13 and 18 of their last 24. Gortat had his 15th double-double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds. But the Suns, who have had two individual 30-point scoring performances all season, couldn't hold a team that matched that in one night. "They executed to perfection down the stretch," Brown said. "We've got to learn from them, learn how to run our stuff and get good shots and good looks. They also got stops and stayed solid on the other side." NOTES: The Thunder had guard Thabo Sefolosha (sprained neck) back in the lineup Monday but are still missing Serge Ibaka (chest contusion). Nick Collison got a second straight start. ... Suns guard Shannon Brown made his second consecutive start for the injured Jared Dudley (right wrist strain). ... The Suns won the 2,000th game in franchise history Saturday in Chicago. Their first win came against the Seattle SuperSonics, the previous incarnation of the Oklahoma City franchise, on Oct. 18, 1968. ... The Thunder began the night ranked among the NBA leaders in scoring (second at 105.2 points per game), field-goal percentage (third at .478), 3-point percentage (third at .392) and free throw-percentage (first at .839). The only two teams in NBA history to lead the league in all four categories were the 2005-06 and 2006-07 Suns. ... Six of Phoenix's 13 wins entering play Monday had come against winning teams. ... Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry on Westbook: "He's as good and as powerful an athlete as we have in the league. Russell is one of the few guys you could take out of the NBA and put in the NFL and he'd be fine."
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