Kevin Durant finally reached the 50-point plateau as he scored a career-high 51 points in the Thunder’s 124-118 win over the Denver Nuggets Sunday night.
Russell Westbrook was also on fire tonight scoring 40 points and Serge Ibaka had the first triple-double in franchise history with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks (career-high).
Trailing 111-106 with 43 seconds left, Durant would score the final five points in regulation for the Thunder to send the game into overtime tied at 111.
Durant hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left after an offensive rebound to bring the Thunder within a deuce of Denver. The Thunder forced the Nuggets into a three-point attempt at the end of the shot clock by Ty Lawson on the next possession and grabbed the defensive rebound.
After a timeout, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks had Durant come off a screen from Ibaka on the inbounds. Chris Andersen was forced to come out on Durant and Durant drove past Andersen easily for the slam to tie the game at 111.
Lawson missed a free throw line jumper at the buzzer and the game entered overtime.
Westbrook too remained hot in overtime with a big three-pointer with 4:37 left and then a 16-footer with 2:51 left that put the Thunder ahead 116-113.
Oklahoma City had the closers. Denver did not.
The Nuggets led for a lot of the game in large part to their work on the offensive glass as they collected 18 offensive rebounds with Andersen and Kosta Koufos combining for seven off the bench.
Denver also had 18 fast break points and 72 points in the paint for the game. The second unit was key for the Nuggets led by Andre Miller who scored 21 points and dished out 10 assists in 36 minutes.
Miller seemed however like the only Nugget who could consistently score down the stretch and Denver had to rely on offensive putbacks for everything else.
The Thunder don’t have this problem with their two elite scorer who combined for 91 points tonight. The dynamic duo outscored seven NBA teams by themselves tonight.
Oklahoma City trailed 58-53 at halftime but ended the first half on an 8-0 run. Then they began the third quarter scoring the first 12 points and finishing a 20-0 run ahead 65-58 with eight minutes left in the third.
Durant went 5-for-6 from three-point line in the game and was 19-of-28 overall from the field.
Ibaka’s career-high with 11 blocks marks the third time this season that he has reached double-digit blocks. Among active players, only Marcus Camby and Ben Wallace have had 10 or more blocks in a game in their career before.
This was the first game in NBA history in which players from the same team scored 50 points, 40 points and had a triple-double.
The one Thunder player that did not perform so well was James Harden who really struggled from the field going 2-of-12 and 1-of-7 from three and scoring only 10 points.
The entire Thunder bench was negative in plus-minus while every starter for Oklahoma City was positive. Ibaka had the best plus-minus at plus-31.
Oklahoma City (24-7) will host New Orleans (7-23) tomorrow night.