It took Kevin Durant until the final minute of play on Friday night to score his 25th point, marking the 40th consecutive game in which he'd scored at least 25 points and tying Michael Jordan for the longest such scoring streak since 1986. When the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, Durant picked up the pace en route to surpassing MJ:
After a left-to-right crossover that opened the door for a dribble drive around and past Phoenix forward Marcus Morris, Durant streaked to the rim and threw down a dunk with 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter that gave him 25 points for the 41st straight game, surpassing M.J.'s 1986-87 mark. It also capped a 14-6 run over the final 5:08 of the third that drew the Thunder within three points of Phoenix heading into the fourth, giving OKC a shot at getting back on the good foot after dropping Friday's contest to the Houston Rockets.
It wasn't to be, however, as Phoenix closed the game on an 11-3 run to earn a 122-115 win behind strong efforts from P.J. Tucker (who defended Durant most of the night and scored 11 of his career-high 22 points in the fourth quarter), noted Thunder-killer Gerald Green (17 of his 24 points in the second half) and the point guard duo of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, who combined for 44 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. The win improved Phoenix to 46-31, a half-game behind the Dallas Mavericks for the Western Conference's No. 7 seed and a full game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies in the battle for the No. 8 spot.
Durant finished with a game-high 38 points on 13 for 28 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals, but a combination of porous defense (Phoenix shot 58.4 percent from the floor) and off-kilter 3-point marksmanship (OKC went 9 for 32 from deep, with Durant and Russell Westbrook combining to go just 6 for 24) helped hand the Thunder a second straight defeat, cutting their lead over the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 2 seed in the West to just one game.
After the loss, Durant seemed less than thrilled about the attention being paid to what is now the longest-running 25-plus-point streak since Oscar Robertson's 46-in-a-row back in 1963-64:
Durant on passing Michael Jordan's streak of 40 straight 25-point games: "I don't really care about it. I wish it was over."
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) April 7, 2014
The Sacramento Kings will look to make Durant's wish come true on Tuesday night. Considering Durant's averaged 28.5 points per game against Sacramento over the course of his career, which encompasses 24 contests in seven years — with more 30-plus-point performances (nine) than sub-25-point games (five) — and that the Kings boast the NBA's eighth-worst defense in terms of points allowed per possession, though, that seems like wishful thinking in its own right.
If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check out Durant passing Jordan elsewhere, thanks to the NBA.
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