However, with Westbrook averaging a triple-double for the first time since 1961-62, breaking the single-season triple-double record, carrying the Thunder to the playoffs, and doing magnificent things like hitting otherworldly game-winners, the race may be his to lose.
In true Russ fashion, this wasn't the only huge moment that the Brodie dropped in this game.
And the last of those points came at the death as the Thunder snatched a 106-105 victory - eliminating Denver from play-off contention in the process. So this was PEAK RUSS trolling one of the biggest sporting events of the year and changing the mainstream sports media conversation in the only way he knew how.
Westbrook insisted his buzzer beater wasn't a low-percentage prayer. But, of course, not to Westbrook.
"I practice that shot everyday pregame", he said.
Harden's shooting wasn't stellar. he connected on just nine of his 22 shots from the field.
"For him to understand and communicate so regularly with his teammates about what they mean to him and how they're helping him do these things, I think it's a good look inside of him and who he is", Presti said.
And while, traditionally, an MVP candidate's team is among the league's elite, Westbrook's 80-game run has been anything but typical.
Harrison Ford Visit, Fisher Tribute Launch Star Wars Event
Billie looked exactly like Princess Leia in this white dress which was custom-made for her by the one and only, Tom Ford. This year's "Star Wars" Celebration got off to an emotional start Thursday in Orlando with a tribute to Carrie Fisher.
There was a nightmarish end for the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers in Atlanta, where the Hawks became just the third National Basketball Association team to overcome a deficit of 26 or more points in the fourth quarter to win.
"I admire Westbrook's all-around command of the game. Everything that could go wrong went wrong".
But James fouled out with less than two minutes remaining in overtime, a call that left him fuming that the his brush with Millsap as they battled for rebounding position shouldn't have been a foul.
But Gallo didn't score at all in the fourth quarter, when the Nuggets managed just 14 points.
Kyle Single inbounded the ball to Steven Adams, who fed Westbrook for the victor. "I was open, and I let it go".
If that wasn't impressive enough, part of RW's statline included a 50-point performance, his eighth triple-double with at least 40 points. F Doug McDermott was a late scratch with a sore left knee.
Nuggets: Denver, which has lost nine straight to the Thunder, was without F Kenneth Faried (back) and G Jameer Nelson (right calf).
Nuggets: Visit Dallas Tuesday on the first night of a back-to-back to end their season.
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