The Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant got back on track in their 106-98 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night. The Thunder gave their fans a reason to worry after dropping several important games since the All-Star break. Their defensive struggles were due to a lack of consistency on the defensive end, but the Thunder managed to hold the Rockets in check for four quarters.
The statement victory proves that this team will not falter under the pressure as the playoffs near.
Durant came through with his 11th 40-point game of the season, scoring 42 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the field. The MVP race tightened up a bit after LeBron James scored 61 points, but “The King” failed to follow up on his magnificent performance.
Since LeBron’s historic night, Durant has given himself a very comfortable lead in the MVP race. Only people biased to LeBron would say that the MVP competition is close at this point. In reality, James’ chance of winning his fifth MVP award is almost impossible as Durant continues to shine.
Prior to scoring 42-points on Tuesday, Durant delivered his third triple-double of the season in the Thunder’s loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon. Just two games before Sunday’s matchup, Durant also scored 42 points in a blowout win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Doubters believed that Durant’s dominance would cease after Russell Westbrook returned, but the two superstars have being playing extremely well together despite the Thunder’s recent slump.
Now, it is obvious that Westbrook’s role will make it even easier for Durant to put up huge numbers on a consistent basis. In the meantime, the Thunder still has to figure out a way to get wins along with those great performances.