ATLANTA — As the final seconds ticked off Tuesday at Philips Arena, Kevin Durant made his way over to the nearby courtside seats.
Moments later, a trio of his teammates followed, commencing in what seemed to be a heated conversation between a fan and the players, with Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka eventually having to lead Russell Westbrook away.
“He really respected how we played the game,” Durant said, clearly sarcastic, of the fan. “He just wanted to tell all of us one-by-one.” When asked if the fan was chirping all game, Westbrook replied with a simple “yeah, yeah, yeah.”
But whatever it was truly about, which may never come to light, Westbrook and Durant clearly had the final word: Thunder 101, Hawks 92, in a relatively easy end-to-end victory for OKC.
It was the Thunder's third consecutive win and 11th in the past 12 games. And once again, it was largely due to its star players.
Durant finished with 30 points — his league-leading 10th 30-point game of the season — and 10 rebounds.
Westbrook, although he shot a poor 6-of-21 from the field, was everywhere on both ends of the court, finishing with 14 points, 11 assists, nine rebounds and four steals.
“It's not all about shooting percentage in this game,” Durant said of Westbrook's night. “It's not all about it, especially when you got a guy who's aggressive, attacking, making plays for his teammates. Almost a triple-double, that's two games in a row.”
Then, beyond the two stars, OKC got another pair of steady and increasingly reliable performances from Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson. Ibaka finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, already his 10th double-double of the season.
And Jackson was once again great off the bench, taking over offensively in important spurts and flashing his improved jumper. He's now hit a 3-pointer in eight consecutive games, easily a career-long streak.
“He's expected to do that,” Durant said of Jackson. “It's really not a surprise of him coming out and playing well.”
And once again, coming off the heels of a domination of the Pacers on Sunday, OKC showed off its defensive prowess.
The Hawks, a top-10 team in the league in field-goal percentage, shot a woeful 35 percent from the field. It's the third consecutive game a Thunder opponent has shot 40 percent or less.
“It's the basketball I know we can play,” Kendrick Perkins said. “And we're playing it. We're playing agenda-free basketball. You could just tell everyone was playing for one another.”