Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 2/29/12

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are playing tremendously this season, and it’s a big reason why the Thunder sit atop the league’s standings

And yet, trouble in paradise between the Thunder’s two all-stars has always been suspected, especially after their little on-court tiff earlier this season. But a report Monday by The Oklahoman dispelled those rumors and said the relationship between Westbrook and Durant is flourishing.

The chemistry and camaraderie between Westbrook and Durant throughout All-Star Weekend was unmistakable, whether on the court or off it. It seems it will only improve at this point and help propel the Thunder in the second half of the season.

Then again, things never have been toxic between the two, as some national pundits have portrayed their relationship. Still, that negativity no doubt has built a stronger bond.

With reporters asking about their relationship at every stop early this season, Westbrook and Durant grew closer in the face of shared adversity. Now, they’re supporting each other more frequently in palpable ways.

After all the times Westbrook in the playoffs last season played like he thought he was the team’s No. 1 option, it was easy for people to suspect he and Durant were headed for another Stephon Marbury-Kevin Garnett situation. So assuming Westbrook and Durant have beef isn’t a far-fetched notion. Even Durant has said he’s butted heads with Westbrook in the past. It also got to the point where some thought trading Westbrook might be better long-term for the team.

But now, let it be known: the two have a genuine camaraderie. And after OKC threw close to $80 million at Westbrook in January, they better.

Photo credit: Howard Smith, US Presswire

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