Thunder All-Stars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook shine in Game 1 win

BY JENNI CARLSON Staff Writer jcarlson@opubco.com Modified: April 18, 2011 at 12:18 am •  Published: April 18, 2011

Kevin Durant clapped his hands, then grabbed Russell Westbrook and pulled him into a hug.

Fitting that they were together as the final buzzer sounded Sunday night at the Oklahoma City Arena.

Together, they were the difference in Game 1 of this first-round Western Conference series.

Thunder 107, Nuggets 103.

The Thunder All-Stars combined to score 72 points, including all the points that the team scored in the final seven-plus minutes of the game.

“The ball was falling for them,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Both of them played well. Give them credit.”

Nuggets coach George Karl did.

“The guys fought,” he said of his players. “They did everything we asked them to do.”

And still, Durant and Westbrook had their way against the Nuggets.

Westbrook came up big early, scoring 21 of his 31 points in the first half. That included a statement dunk right before halftime that cut a Nuggets deficit that at point had been 13 points to only one point.

Durant did most of his damage after halftime. He scored 25 of his 41 points in the second half on 9-of-13 shooting.

Yet, both were at their best when it counted most. Together, Durant and Westbrook scored the Thunder's final 15 points.

“All we could do as an organization, as a team was come out and take Game 1,” Westbrook said. “Now, we've got Game 2.”

The first-round series resumes Wednesday night in Oklahoma City.



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