Durant Scores 51, Westbrook 40 In Instant Classic Victory
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Statistics were simply too absurd to waste on a loss.
That's why it was only fitting the Thunder pulled out their patented comebacks and clutch shots in a 124-118 overtime victory against the Nuggets on Sunday night.
It's hard to even begin to break down such a loaded, record-setting stat sheet in a game that will live on as a classic in the NBA record books.
But it has to start with Kevin Durant's career-high 51 points on an incredibly-efficient 19-of-28 shooting. He was 5-of-6 from 3-point range to go along with eight rebounds, and hit numerous clutch shots at the end of regulation and overtime.
If that wasn't enough, Russell Westbrook decided to "chip in" with 40 points of his own, making the duo the first players since Denver's Kiki Vandeweghe and Alex English in 1983.
It's only the third time in NBA history the feat has been accomplished, with the third coming from George Gervin and Mike Mitchell of the Spurs in 1982.
The show didn't end there. Serge Ibaka had his first career triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds (eight offensive) and 11 blocks. Ibaka was the second player in NBA history to record three 10-block games in a month, joining David Robinson of San Antonio.
Put them all together and what do you get? The first time in league history that a team has had a 50-point scorer, a 40-point scorer and a triple double all in the same game.
It's not hard to believe it's the first time that has been accomplished, but it is a bit difficult to believe that it has happened at all.
In typical Thunder fashion, OKC let itself get down by 14 points midway through the second quarter before storming back.
Oklahoma City combined to end the first half and begin the second half with a dominant 20-0 run.
After trailing by 14 at one point, OKC found itself up by seven points four minutes into the third quarter. But Denver rallied back and chipped away at the lead, eventually taking control of the game again late in the fourth.
It would still take another mini-comeback for the Thunder to force overtime. With 30 seconds to play and down five, Kevin Durant nailed a 3-pointer to bring his team within two.
Denver's Ty Lawson missed a layup on the other end, giving the Thunder a chance to tie or win with seven seconds left.
Of all the people on the court, Denver somehow managed to lose track of Kevin Durant as he slipped free for a wide-open dunk to tie it.
And overtime was all Durant and Westbrook – literally – as they scored all 12 of Oklahoma City's points in the extra period.
Denver put up some jaw-dropping statistics as well that you wouldn't normally see in a loss, such as 72 points in the paint.
Seven Denver players reached double-figure scoring in the game. But in the end, the Nuggets' lack of a true superstar eventually caught up to them, as they faltered in crunch time.
OKC moved to 24-7 on the season but will not get any well-deserved time off after the exhausting win.
The Thunder will go right back to work on Monday night with a 7 p.m. tipoff at home against the New Orleans Hornets.