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.”