“I was just going out there and trying to have fun with the game,” Durant said when asked if his thoughts drifted to winning the MVP. “Of course we want to win. We were up 18. But leads in this game, they come and go … But it was fun. It was one of those games you're always going to remember.”
Durant, a three-time scoring champion who is on pace to win his fourth scoring title in five years with a 31.5-point average this season, showed New Orleans a sampling of what he's been dishing all season.
He dumped in 12 first-quarter points and added five rebounds and three assists in the period, making five of his eight shots. It was a preview of the all-around performance that was to come.
By halftime, Durant sat on 22 points on 9-for-14 shooting in 17 minutes. He just missed a last-second 3-pointer before the second-quarter buzzer that would have pushed him past Glen Rice for the most points in a half of All-Star basketball.
Durant added 10 rebounds and six assists on the night.
“What I didn't see tonight, what he has done all season long, is defend. He didn't defend tonight,” joked Thunder and West coach Scott Brooks. “But it was a great game.”