Kevin Durant scores 46 points as OKC Thunder tops Portland

Thunder star tops 40 points for the fourth time in 10 games.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 21, 2014

Reggie Jackson removed a courtside headset at the end of a postgame radio interview and looked to the stands.

Without hesitation, he let the Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd know what it had just witnessed.

Or better yet, who they had just seen, summing it up with a simple but dead-on description.

“That's a baaaaad boy!” he bellowed. “That's a baaaaad boy!”

He was talking about Kevin Durant.

The Thunder star continued his sensational play Tuesday night, scoring a game-high 46 points to lead Oklahoma City to an exhilarating 105-97 victory over Portland.

It was the fifth time Durant has topped 40 points this season and his fourth time in 10 games.

Only two games earlier, Durant scored a career-high 54.

He's now scored at least 30 points in eight straight games, the longest such streak in Durant's career.

“His numbers over this past stretch, I think that does all the talking,” Jackson said. “That's a bad boy. He's been the baddest man on the planet.”

In the last 14 games, all of which have been played without starting point guard Russell Westbrook, Durant is averaging 36.5 points.

His hot streak has bumped his league-leading scoring average to 30.9 points. More impressively, he's maintained his efficiency.

On Tuesday, he made 17 of 25 shots, nailed six of his seven 3-pointers and six of seven foul shots. It boosted his percentage back above 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point range. He's just two free throw percentage points shy of currently compiling an incredible 50-40-90 to go along with his league-leading scoring average.

“MVP performance,” said Portland coach Terry Stotts. “To score 46 points on 25 shots, six of seven from 3s…it was an incredible performance. He made shots when they mattered. He took his time and didn't force it. He took what was there, and he made some great shots.”

Durant's efforts helped the Thunder win its fourth straight and knock off the Blazers for the first time in three tries this season.

Durant scored 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, 11 of them coming in the final 3 1/2 minutes.

The turning point, if you can even call it that on this night, clearly seemed to be a technical foul Durant picked up for slamming his hand upon the scorer's table in frustration at officiating.

It came with 3:45 remaining.

After LaMarcus Aldridge made a pair of free throws following the foul call that sent Durant over the top, Durant went off.

He made a driving layup then buried a pull-up 3 in transition, tying the game at 95-all. After back-to-back jump shots by Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins, Durant drilled another pull-up 3 in transition.

Then he hit another 3.

Behind Durant's offensive brilliance, and some back-breaking team defense led by Perkins and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder closed the game on a 15-2 run.

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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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