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Thunder F Kevin Durant averaging 36 points while All-Star Russell Westbrook heals


Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) drives to the basket as Golden State Warriors small forward Draymond Green (23) defends during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams) (The Associated Press)

Kevin Durant is putting up points like never before, and that's quite an accomplishment for a three-time NBA scoring champion.

The 6-foot-9 forward couldn't have picked a better time to raise his level of play for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 13 games since All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was sidelined after surgery on his right knee, Durant has averaged 35.8 points.

Durant scored a career-high 54 points in a 127-121 win over Golden State last Friday, a performance that brought "MVP!" chants from the crowd.

Durant has pushed his league-leading scoring average to 30.6 points per game.

He will have one of his biggest stages yet when the Thunder host Portland on Tuesday night in a game between two of the league's top teams.