MVP front-runner Kevin Durant continues to lead the franchise to new heights as he led the team to another win on Sunday setting up a showdown of epic proportions against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. The Spurs have won 17 games in a row and currently sit ahead of the Thunder by three games in the Western Conference standings, but in recent years Oklahoma City has been the Spurs’ kryptonite.
The Thunder came out of the battle unscathed and intact for a showdown that will likely decide the Western Conference No. 1 seed. Kevin Durant held top honors in the game as he recorded 31 points on just 13 field goal attempts. The Slim Reaper also added nine assists and four rebounds to his impressive statistics. The other two-thirds of the Oklahoma City big three, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka combined for 36 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. Caron Butler continued to add value off the bench as he put up 15 points in the 116-96 defeat of the Utah Jazz.
Oklahoma City has only nine regular season games remaining, so if the Thunder want to make a push for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the team must win against the Spurs, who have been on a tear of late. The Thunder still have several high-caliber opponents left on their schedule this season, making it unlikely that they will overtake San Antonio out west, but if Oklahoma City plays up to its high ceiling then anything is possible.
The Thunder have a great chance of beating San Antonio this week, but the team will need more than just the one victory to leap the top team out in the west. San Antonio will likely hold the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs, but it is not unlikely that we will see a rematch in a high stakes playoff matchup.
Greg Douglas is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.