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Oklahoma City Thunder: A look at the significance of Kevin Durant's 25-point scoring streak

Kevin Durant on Friday at Houston tied Michael Jordan for the most consecutive games of at least 25 points in the last 50 years.Durant’s streak is mostly a mark of magnificent consistency, a skill many coaches say is the hardest thing to have at the pro level.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 5, 2014
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photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, high-fives teammate Reggie Jackson during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Houston on Friday, April 4, 2014. Durant extended his streak of scoring at least 25 points to a 40th consecutive game, the longest streak since Michael Jordan reached 40 in 1986-87. The Rockets won 111-107. (AP Photo/Richard Carson)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, left, high-fives teammate Reggie Jackson during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Houston on Friday, April 4, 2014. Durant extended his streak of scoring at least 25 points to a 40th consecutive game, the longest streak since Michael Jordan reached 40 in 1986-87. The Rockets won 111-107. (AP Photo/Richard Carson)

— Gregg Popovich credited him for making his teammates more confident.

Kevin McHale hailed him for his consistency.

Russell Westbrook simply said he can do this in his sleep.

Kevin Durant’s scoring streak has the league buzzing and is now the biggest storyline of the Thunder’s season.

Durant on Friday at Houston tied Michael Jordan for the most consecutive games of at least 25 points in the last 50 years. With another 25-point night Sunday at Phoenix, Durant can move into sole possession of third on the all-time list with 41.

Wilt Chamberlain owns the single-season record with 80. Oscar Robertson is second with 46.

So what does it all mean?

For starters, Durant’s streak is mostly a mark of magnificent consistency, a skill many coaches say is the hardest thing to have at the pro level.

“As a really good player, you’re going to have some stinkers. Everybody does,” said McHale, the Houston Rockets coach. “You have five, six, seven of those. But you have those 10 to 20 extraordinary games, the 40-plus games. He’s had probably 12, 14, 15 of them. That’s what sets you apart from everybody else.”

The last time Durant failed to post 25 points was on Jan. 5. It came in a 23-point home when over Boston. Durant was needed for only 27 minutes in the eventual blowout. He finished with 21 points on 6-for-13 shooting.

Since then, Durant has averaged 34.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists. He’s connected on 51.7 percent of his attempts from the field and 40.2 percent of his 3-point tries.

The Thunder is 27-13 over that span, which included a 10-game winning streak.

“He’s a great player, and if anybody’s ever seen him play you shouldn’t be surprised,” said Popovich, the Spurs coach. “He’s something else.”

Popovich said Durant’s scoring should make the Thunder “feel pretty confident” each night. With a weapon like Durant, the Thunder has a nightly threat that at this point is virtually guaranteed to reach 25 points.

“Last time I looked he was averaging 32,” McHale said. “That’s a guaranteed 32 then.”

Durant has downplayed the streak and gone as far as to say he doesn’t care much for it. He’s called it “cool” to be frequently mentioned in the same sentence as Jordan and said he could get used to that. But Durant also has repeatedly said he wants to be in Jordan’s company regarding a different conversation.

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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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