With 2:23 left in the Thunder's 102-90 victory at Phoenix on Monday night, three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant blew past Phoenix forward Michael Beasley at the top of the key. Suns center Marcin Gortat stepped in to help defensively and appeared ready to take a charge until a high-flying Durant threw down a tomahawk dunk, fell to the floor after being fouled and converted the three-point play.
“Well first of all, I was looking for my car keys under the basket,” Gortat said jokingly. “I was trying to find my car keys because I lost them over there so I was just looking for them. And Michael Beasley is going to get Krispy Kreme for the rest of the season for sure, from me. I mean it happens. The funny thing is that when (Kendrick) Perkins was standing under the basket he looked at me and I looked at him and he said, ‘I know how it feels.' He said, ‘Guards left you on the island, huh?' and I said, ‘Yeah.'
“Listen, it happens. I am not going to deny that was probably the top three dunks of the year. Right? I mean a least I am going to be out there. I mean, I am just going to try to be silly about it. I am not going to cry. It is just part of the game.”
Playfully asked to describe what happened on Durant's dunk, teammate Russell Westbrook deadpanned: “I was watching. That's it.”
A DURANT RISING
Many Phoenix fans at US Airways Center rose to their feet and applauded Durant's dunk.
What does it feel like to have even opposing fans react in such a manner?
“It feels really good, just for them to recognize an opposing team's good play,” Durant said. “People are just fans of the game, and that's good to see. I've seen a lot of Thunder fans out there as well, so that's encouraging, too.”
Durant (41) and Westbrook (36) combined for 77 points against the Suns.
The last NBA tandem to combine for 77 or more points in a game? That would be the same two players, with Durant (43) and Westbrook (35) combining for 78 against in a 115-110 victory at Minnesota on April 14, 2012.
As is always the case when it comes to injuries, the Thunder officially lists forward Serge Ibaka as “day-to-day” after missing the last two starts with a chest contusion.
The team flew home from Phoenix after Monday's game, had Tuesday off and will have a morning shootaround in preparation for Wednesday's 7 p.m. home game against Denver.
FOUL AT THE LINE
The Thunder inexplicably shot just 73.6 percent from the free-throw line on its road trip, yet still managed to go 3-0.
OKC still handily leads the league in free-throw percentage at .837, but has dropped from .845 in the last three games.
The NBA season record is .832 by the 1989-90 Boston Celtics.
Ibaka now trails Milwaukee's Larry Sanders 3.23 to 2.81 for the league lead in blocked shots. … OKC had 11 turnovers against Phoenix and it cost them 10 points. Phoenix had 15 turnovers, which the Thunder turned into 23 points. … The Suns had 22 second-chance points to OKC's 16. … Phoenix had 14 offensive rebounds to the Thunder's nine. … The Suns shot horribly, even when unguarded — 41.7 percent on field goals, 36.0 percent from 3-point range and 61.1 percent at the free-throw line. … Phoenix (13-27) has now lost 13 of its last 15.
Westbrook when asked if he was aware he and Durant scored 47 of the Thunder's 51 second-half points? “No. Not aware. I just knew that we were winning. That's it.”