Center stage was supposed to belong to Jeremy Lin on Sunday. After all, he had 28 points, 14 assists, and 5 steals against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks – something no one had ever done before. But the Thunder hadn’t yet taken the court.
Kevin Durant had a career night, scoring 51 against the Denver Nuggets at home as Oklahoma City won in overtime, 124-118. Durant was 5-6 behind the arc and had the final five points of regulation just to send the game to an extra session in a hard-fought contest. He made the points when it counted, with 32 points in the second half and overtime.
But wait, there’s more. Russell Westbrook had 40 points and nine assists. That is a stat to get attention: Westbrook scored 40 and was well shy of being the team leader. But he led the team with confidence and filled his role on the role with excellence.
And if that wasn’t enough, Serge Ibaka had a triple-double. A triple-double! Ibaka’s 14-point, 15-rebound, 11-block output accounts for the first triple-double in franchise history, going back even through the Seattle Supersonic days. There have been seven triple-double games in the NBA this season, and this was the first in which the block category came into play.