OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant scores career-high 51 in 124-118 OT win over Nuggets

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 91 points and Serge Ibaka had his first career triple-double.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: February 20, 2012 at 2:24 am •  Published: February 19, 2012

It's rare that a player scores 50-plus points in an NBA game.

It's rarer when a teammate scores 40-plus points in the same contest.

Until Sunday night, it was unprecedented that another teammate would have a triple-double on the very same night.

The Thunder's three-headed monster of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka made NBA history before another sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant had a career-high 51 points, Westbrook scored 40 of his own and Ibaka had a triple-double of 15 rebounds, 14 points and 11 blocked shots.

Even more amazing is the Thunder needed every ounce of the history-making moment to post a 124-118 overtime victory over a depleted Denver squad that was using its 13th different starting lineup due to a slew of injuries.

"The game of basketball can really be mean to you," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "Tonight, we did our job and did it very well. … To have a great player (Durant) take a game from you like that is heart-wrenching. It's just the bounce of the ball."

A quick checklist of Sunday's marks:

- Coincidentally, Denver was the last team to have one player score 50-plus and another score 40-plus in the same game with Kiki Vandeweghe (51) and Alex English (47) doing so in a 186-184 triple-overtime loss to Detroit that is the highest-scoring game in NBA history.

- The last time two teammates scored 40-plus in the same NBA game was Chicago's Michael Jordan (44) and Scottie Pippen (40) in 1996.

- Durant and Westbrook set an all-time franchise high with 91 combined points. The previous high was 90 by Seattle's Dale Ellis and Xavier McDaniel in 1989.

- Ibaka achieved the first triple-double with double-digit blocks in OKC/Seattle franchise history, which dates back to 1967. - Ibaka now has three games this season with 10-plus blocked shots.

- The last NBA player to have three or more games with double-digit blocks in the same season was Dallas center Shawn Bradley in the 1996-97 season.

- The last NBA player to have a triple-double with blocked shots was Washington's JaVale McGee on March 15, 2011.

- It marked the first time in Durant's career he had scored 50 points in a sanctioned game. He scored 60-plus twice last summer in pick-up games during the NBA lockout.

With 19.8 seconds left in overtime and with the Peake crowd chanting "FIF-TY, FIF-TY," Durant buried a free throw to reach half-a-hundred, pointed to the heavens and smiled as he accepted congratulations from his alleged rival Westbrook.

Sunday's box score: Thunder 124, Nuggets 108 (OT)

by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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