PHILADELPHIA — Kevin Durant sauntered onto the Philadelphia court 90 minutes before tip on Saturday night, firing up a few shots.
Then, he made his way around the perimeter, testing his injured right shoulder with some quick-twitch pump-fakes, before ending the workout with a powerful two-handed dunk.
Feeling good enough to play, Durant conferred with the team doctor and nodded at Scott Brooks. In essence, the 76ers' fate was already sealed.
After taking a game off in Boston the night before, which Durant said gave his legs a little extra juice, the traveling KD show was back and as mesmerizing as ever, serving as the main attraction during the Thunder's 103-91 win over the Sixers.
It's been a legendary January for Durant. But of his string of masterpieces, Durant may have delivered his most complete performance on Saturday night.
In 44 minutes, Durant compiled 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, his fifth career triple-double and second of the season.
When you add his efficiency into the equation (12-of-17 shooting), he became only the fifth player since 1985 to put up those numbers on fewer than 20 shots.
“Nah, not really,” Kendrick Perkins said, when asked if anything Durant does can surprise him. “He's playing at an MVP-type level, a high level right now, off the charts.”
But Serge Ibaka, Durant's running mate, was nearly as impressive on Saturday night, dominating play on both ends.
Ibaka set an immediate defensive tone, blocking four shots in the first quarter, including a pair of oblivious dunk attempts by 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams.
“I think Carter-Williams don't really know what Serge does,” Durant said. “He was just putting it right up there for him. We knew that was an easy block.”
But it wasn't just the defense. Ibaka was equally effective on the offensive end, providing the perfect outlet for Durant, who was seeing double-teams all night.
Ibaka went 12-of-16 from the field, but an even more impressive 7-of-8 on jumpers between 16-24 feet, continuing to prove he is one of the best midrange shooters in the game.
Of Ibaka's 12 made field goals, Durant assisted on six of them.
“He's doing such a good job keeping the defense honest by making shots,” Durant said. “Serge is playing at a high level right now, playing at an All-Star level night in and night out, and people don't recognize.”
But it was tough not to recognize the stat line he compiled on Saturday night. By game's end, Ibaka had 25 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.
It was the second 20-point, 10-rebound, five-block game in Thunder history (OKC era). Both came in the past two weeks. And both were by Ibaka, who had 21, 15 and five against the Rockets on Jan. 16.
“He's playing tremendous,” Durant said of Ibaka.
But Durant might as well have been talking about himself. Or the entire Thunder team, which now holds the NBA's longest win streak at seven and has moved into a tie with Indiana for the league's best record.