Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/15/13
PHOENIX – Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 77 points, including 47 of their team’s 51 points in the second half, as the Oklahoma City Thunder won their 30th game of the season with a 102-90 win over the Phoenix Suns Monday. Kevin Martin added 12 points, all in the first half, for the Thunder, who improved to an NBA-best 30-8 behind their vaunted 1-2 punch. Oklahoma City is 18-4 this season when both Durant and Westbrook score at least 20 points in the same game -- this time Durant had 19 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter and Westbrook had 20 of his 36 in the second half. Shannon Brown had 21 points for the Suns, who have lost 11 of their last 13 and 18 of their last 24. Marcin Gortat had his 15th double-double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds. But the Suns, who have had two 30-point performances all season, couldn’t hold a team that matched that in one night. Durant and Westbook were a combined 29 for 54 shooting from the floor. The Suns were within four points at 76-72 on a Gortat layup with 10 minutes left. But Durant and Westbrook scored the next 24 straight Oklahoma City points, with Durant’s flying dunk over Gortat with 2:23 left and three-point play adding the exclamation point. Playing without Jared Dudley for a second straight game, the Suns got seven early points from Brown and used a 10-2 run to take a 17-10 lead on Brown’s 18-footer with 4:37 left. Phoenix still led by seven on Gortat’s layup with 9:45 left in the half before the Thunder got rolling. Martin had a three-pointer and layup during a run of 10 straight Oklahoma City points and he capped a 22-5 run with another three pointer to give the Thunder a 45-35 lead with 3:09 left. Westbook hit seven of 11 shots in the half and had all 10 second-quarter points in the final 4:42. Brown’s three-point play with 1.8 seconds left pulled the Suns to within 51-45 at the half, but Westbook and Durant combined for 13 points during a 17-6 run to open the second half, with a Westbrook layup giving the Thunder their biggest lead at 66-52. Phoenix didn’t quit, closing the third quarter on a 14-4 run, with Michael Beasley’s three-pointer with 3.3 seconds left pulling the Suns within 72-68. NOTES: The Thunder had guard Thabo Sefolosha (sprained neck) back in the lineup Monday but are still missing Serge Ibaka (chest contusion). Nick Collison got a second straight start. ... Suns guard Shannon Brown made his second consecutive start for Dudley (right wrist strain). ... The Suns won the 2,000th game in franchise history Saturday in Chicago. Their first win came against the Seattle SuperSonics, the previous incarnation of the Oklahoma City franchise, on Oct. 18, 1968. ... The Thunder began the night ranked among the NBA leaders in scoring (second at 105.2 points per game), field-goal percentage (third at .478), 3-point percentage (third at .392) and free throw-percentage (first at .839). The only two teams in NBA history to lead the league in all four categories were the 2005-06 and 2006-07 Suns. ... Six of Phoenix's 13 wins entering play Monday had come against winning teams. ... Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry on Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbook: "He's as good and as powerful an athlete as we have in the league. Russell is one of the few guys you could take out of the NBA and put in the NFL and he'd be fine."
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