Borrowing a phrase from Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, teammate Kevin Durant has been “going bananas” lately with superlative performances, and Friday night's career-high 52-point outing against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center was another example.
Durant's second career 50-point game came one day after he officially was announced as a starter the third straight season for the NBA All-Star Game, which will be staged at the Toyota Center in Houston on Feb. 17.
Westbrook has gone bananas lately himself, with 31 points, six rebounds and a team-high six assists in the 117-114 overtime victory over the Mavs.
NBA coaches will select reserve players within their own conference, with the results announced Thursday.
Westbrook already had the full attention of opposing coaches, but three straight 30-point games while shooting 38 for 70 (.543) from the field certainly should help the cause for his third straight appearance as an All-Star reserve.
There were four players on the court Friday night who have had at least one 50-point game — Dirk Nowitzki (two) and Vince Carter (two) of the Mavericks; Durant (two) and Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin (one).
The Mavs have sold out 451 consecutive regular-season games at AAC, which is an NBA-best sellout streak that began Dec. 15, 2001. Dallas also has sold out 60 straight playoff games during that stretch.