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.
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.
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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.
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