Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant's next nine games in pursuit of Michael Jordan

by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 19, 2014

Comment: Even on a horrible offensive night for the Thunder against the Mavs on Sunday, we saw Durant net 30 points. This time, though, Durant and the Thunder will be playing their fourth game in seven nights, with three of them having been played on the road. Watch out for the fatigue factor here.

March 28 — vs. Sacramento

Durant’s career averages against the Kings: 28.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 49.2 FG%, 23 games.

Projected primary defender: Rudy Gay.

Comment: The last time Sacramento was in Oklahoma City, on Jan. 19, Durant dropped 30 points on 15 shots. Gay scored six on seven attempts and grew so frustrated he got himself ejected. The only thing that will stop Durant from scoring 25 in this one is limited minutes in a Thunder blowout.

March 30 — vs. Utah

Durant’s career averages against the Jazz: 26.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3.2 apg, 46.6 FG%, 26 games.

Projected primary defender: Gordon Hayward.

Comment: According to the numbers, the Jazz are the worst defensive team in basketball, yielding 108.5 points per 100 possessions. And Durant has taken advantage, averaging 36.3 points against Utah this season. Two of Durant’s league-best 11 40-point games have come against the Jazz, who are in an absolute tailspin with losses in 13 of 16 since the All-Star break.

April 3 — vs. San Antonio

Durant’s career averages against the Spurs: 25.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.6 apg, 48.1 FG%, 24 games.

Projected primary defender: Kawhi Leonard.

Comment: The Spurs are the best defensive team the Thunder will see in this stretch. They rank fourth in defensive efficiency at 100.4 points per 100 possessions and know how to make anyone’s night miserable. Durant’s second-lowest scoring game of the season came at San Antonio on Dec. 21 when he scored just 17. But the Thunder won by 13 that night as Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson carried the load. This time, Durant will be on three days’ rest.

April 4 — at Houston

Durant’s career averages against the Rockets: 25.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.6 apg, 48.0 FG%, 25 games.

Projected primary defender: Chandler Parsons

Comment: If he makes it this far, Durant can tie MJ’s record with another 25 against the Rockets. Even against solid defense, Durant carved up Houston in the last meeting, scoring 25 of his game-high 42 points in the second half on March 11. And if he does make it this far, nothing will stop Durant from pouring in 25.

April 6 — at Phoenix

Durant’s career averages against the Suns: 26.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.6 apg, 45.7 FG%, 24 games.

Projected primary defender: P.J. Tucker

Comment: This one already is slated for NBA TV, allowing the country an opportunity to see history made.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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