Kevin Durant is the one being serenaded with MVP chants, but its his All-Star teammate having the career-year.
Westbrook scored a career-high 45 points, including nine in the second overtime, along with six assists, four rebounds and two steals.
The 23-year-old is posting his highest averages in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point shooting.
Since his assist average decreased by three per game from a season ago, while his field goals attempted have increased by two per game, rumors of conflict between the two superstars spilled onto the court against Memphis earlier in the year.
Ever since, Westbrook has deferred to Durant, as evidenced against the Timberwovles and the Thunder has posted the best record in the Western Conference.
Following a sub-par performance during Oklahoma City’s statement win over Miami Sunday night, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as the Thunder close out the regular season.
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Sitting behind Kevin Durant by just one minute in total playing time, Kobe Bryant oddly found himself on the bench over during four key minutes in the fourth quarter. Bryant leads the league in scoring, averaging 28.3 points per game and Los Angeles can’t afford to have him sitting as its lead is just 2.5 game over the Clippers in the Pacific Division.
The Magic won its third consecutive game Monday with a 117-101 rout over Toronto. Dwight Howard posted his 41st double-double of the season, finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Orlando (32-18) find itself in a race with the surging Hawks for the third best record in the Eastern Conference.
The reigning champions are just 1.5 games away form missing the playoffs. Dallas is dealing with an ongoing saga involving Lamar Odom. The 13-year veteran took a 10-day absence for personal issues then was held out of a 104-87 loss to San Antonio because of a coaching decision for the first time in his career.
Although the Lakers have gone just 3-3 since adding point guard Ramon Sessions, he has taken command of the offense. Sessions is averaging 14.3 points, 6.7 assists while shooting 53.8 percent from three-point range since joining Los Angeles. Sesions will face Derek Fisher, the former Laker point guard, for the first time since the deal went through.
The uncertainty surrounding Derrick Rose, sitting his seventh-consecutive game with a groin injury Monday night, has taken its toll. Chicago’s 108-91 loss to the Nuggets Monday night slipped the Bulls record to 12-5 without its point guard in the lineup and with home court advantage on the line, as Miami sits just 3.5 games back, is crucial.
Paul Pierce chose the perfect time to notch his season-high. Pouring in 36 points Monday, Pierce lifted the Celtics to a 100-92 victory over Charlotte Monday night and Boston into a tie with the 76ers for the division lead. Boston is playing without Ray Allen, as he nurses a sore right ankle, but hopes to have him back in the lineup later this week.
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