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Thunder: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook building a strong bond

Oklahoma City's super stars complement each other on the court and compliment each other off the court.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: February 27, 2012 at 9:27 pm •  Published: February 27, 2012

Serge Ibaka had just supplied the stop of the season, and yet Russell Westbrook was woofing at him like he had done something wrong.

But Westbrook was only trying to help.

As Ibaka secured the ball immediately after blocking Denver guard Arron Afflalo's shot last Sunday, Westbrook shouted to Ibaka to get the ball to Kevin Durant, pointing frantically to the Thunder's best foul shooter. By sinking two, Durant could extend the team's lead to six with 20 seconds remaining and help Oklahoma City survive an overtime thriller.

With just one, Durant would reach the 50-point plateau for the first time — and Westbrook knew it.

Much of the past month has been filled with similarly telling moments, in-game tidbits that have revealed the true relationship between Durant and Westbrook. Last weekend's NBA All-Star gala only helped to build that bond.

Sharing their second straight All-Star Game experience, the Thunder's dynamic duo spent the weekend praising and supporting each other. And if you've watched closely over the past month, you know it wasn't only for the worldwide audience looking in on the activities in Orlando, Fla.

At Friday's media day session, Durant and Westbrook unknowingly took turns lobbing compliments. They sat at opposite ends of the room. But when Durant was asked which player is the league's best in-game dunker, his response — after excluding L.A. Clippers forward Blake Griffin's dunks for being “not real” — was Westbrook.

“I'm not going to put him in the conversation,” Durant said of Griffin. “I'm going to say Russell. He'll surprise you and just jog down the lane but then float and dunk. The stuff he's doing is unreal. There are times I just sit back and watch as just smile at his athleticism because it's video-game like.”

Westbrook repeatedly returned the respect.

When the Thunder's point guard was asked who is the league's most clutch player, he said Durant.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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