PHOENIX — Before Monday night's game against the Phoenix Suns, Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was asked for his reaction to a recent Dime Magazine article that listed the top five players under age 25 who most likely are headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Teammate Kevin Durant was ranked No. 1 and Westbrook came in at No. 4.
“That's crazy, man,” Westbrook whispered, shaking his head. “I don't know how long KD and I will play this game, but it's a crazy idea to be able to think that far ahead.”
Within the three hours, that article would gain some more momentum.
It remains to be seen if Durant and Westbrook indeed are inducted someday, but both took another step in that direction by double-dipping on the Suns in the Thunder's 102-90 victory at US Airways Center.
Durant and Westbrook combined for 77 points and scored 47 of the team's 51 points in the second half.
“It was just in the natural flow of the game — how they were playing us,” Durant said. “Russ got it going early and I just tried to play off of everybody.”
Durant finished with 41 points — 30 in the second half; 19 in the fourth quarter — and was 15 for 30 from the field.
Westbrook had a season-high 36 points, shot 14 for 24 from the field and added eight rebounds and five assists.
Phoenix was hung tough and trailed 82-77 with 6:42 left in the game, but the Thunder pulled away with a 15-4 run over the next 4½ minutes.
“What can we do? Um, I don't know,” Phoenix center Marcin Gortat said afterward. “I am going to be silly right now, but maybe break his (Durant's) arm, break his leg? You can't do anything. You can double and triple him, he is still going to score. He is just amazing. We basically lost to Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. These two guys were just outstanding and they played great.”
Fans and media in Phoenix shook their heads after hearing duo's totals, but it was met with little more than slight nods of acknowledgment inside the OKC locker room.
Durant and Westbrook have been there, done that — and have done it frequently.
“It was one of those nights,” said guard Thabo Sefolosha, who returned to the starting lineup after sitting out Sunday night's victory at Portland with a strained neck. “They really had it going and played well and, one after the other, just took over.”
When the Dime article was mentioned to Durant, he smiled the same as Westbrook.
“It's a little early for that, man,” Durant said. “I've just got to keep working. Stuff like that, it's cool to hear your name in those conversations and in those articles, but you can't dwell too much on it. … I'm going to continue to be the person I am, continue to have fun with the game and when we're done with the game, we'll see what happens.”
Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin added 12 points, all coming in the first half. The only players to score after intermission for OKC were forward Nick Collison and center Hasheem Thabeet with two each.
Collison replaced Serge Ibaka (chest contusion) for the second straight game. Ibaka's status remains day-to-day.
It was the Thunder's eighth straight victory over the Suns (13-27) and its fifth straight at US Airways Center.
OKC (30-8) finished its three-game road trip unbeaten, owns the NBA's best record and became the first team to reach 30 wins.
The Thunder plays Denver at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday and then embarks on its longest road trip of the season with six games in 10 days.