OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been one of the top duos in the NBA since 2008.
They might have needed a little extra time to recapture their dynamic form this season following Westbrook’s two offseason knee surgeries, but they’ve let it be known lately that they’re back and better than ever.
That was never more evident than on Sunday night when the Thunder (15-4) raced past Indiana, the team with the best record in the league.
Durant and Westbrook combined for 62 points and 18 assists in the 118-94 dismantling of the Pacers, serving notice to the league that Oklahoma City fully expects to return to the NBA Finals.
“They’ve been good for a lot of years,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “And then, we also have to still look at Russell as this is part of the process. ... He just finished up his first month of playing. So, he’s feeling much more comfortable out there, and he’s doing a great job.”
Westbrook has started to round into All-Star form this month, showing that he’s fully recovered from the right knee injury that left him on the bench for the Thunder’s second-round exit from the playoffs against Memphis last season.
The point guard, who had a second knee surgery on Oct. 1 to remove a loose stitch, had 26 points and 13 assists in the win over the Pacers. He shot 11 of 17, a performance that followed an 8-of-16 shooting performance in a win at New Orleans last Friday.
The games marked the first time all season Westbrook has shot 50 percent or better in back-to-back games, leading to the question on whether he felt his timing and touch are fully back.
“Almost, sometimes,” Westbrook said. “I’ve just got to continue to play, continue to get better and better and continue to try to win.”