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NBA West: Western Conference has four of the NBA’s top five teams

The Oklahoma City Thunder continues to lead the NBA with a record of 30-8 thanks to the incredible talent of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and a huge supporting cast.

On Monday night, the Thunder defeated the Phoenix Suns 102-90 to become the first 30 game winner in the NBA this season. In the game, Durant scored 41 points, 27 of them in the second half and Westbrook chipped in with 36.

Durant took the game over late and scored one less than his season high of 42 that he scored against the Los Angeles Lakers just two games ago It was not surprising that Durant ended up being named the Player of the Week in the NBA last week as he has increased his scoring average to 28.9 points per game and is currently trailing just Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony.

In his past three games, Durant is averaging 38.7 points per game while shooting 57% from the floor. This season, to go along with his scoring average, Durant is also averaging 7.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. Durant said he is enjoying himself on the court and it shows in his output.

In the second half of their game against Phoenix Durant and Westbrook scored 47 of the 51 points the team scored overall. Players for Phoenix were amazed at how well Durant and Westbrook played saying they basically lost to just two players.

The win was the fourth straight for the Thunder and moved them a full game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers in the conference standings. In their division, the Thunder lead the Denver Nuggets by 7 ½ games and the Portland Trailblazers by 9 ½. The Thunder has won their past two games without their top defender Serge Ibaka who is out with a chest contusion.

The Western Conference has four of the top five teams in the NBA at this juncture of the season. The Thunder lead the pack in the West, but the Clippers are just a game behind with the second best record in the league at 29-9 and San Antonio trails by just two games while the Grizzlies are five back.

However, the top eight teams in the west, which is rounded out with Golden State, Denver, Houston and Portland is much stronger than the East. With the exception of Miami, there is no other dominant team at this point in the Eastern Conference.

Oklahoma City lost to the Heat in the NBA finals last season and with that experience under their belts should be the favorite heading into the second half of the season. If the Thunder can stay away from injuries then they should be the team to beat when the playoffs come around.

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