Oklahoma City Thunder: How Kevin Durant's run compares with Michael Jordan's

Michael Jordan was in his third season when he crafted his string of 40 games with at least 25 points.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 5, 2014
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photo -   FILE - In this June 9, 1996 file photo Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan stands during a break at the end of an NBA Basketball game against the Seattle SuperSonics in Seattle. A Bismarck, N.D., man who used to own McDonald's restaurants is about $10,000 richer after selling a 20-year-old container of McJordan barbecue sauce Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, to a buyer in Chicago. The sauce was used on McJordan Burgers, named for basketball icon in limited markets for a short time in the 1990s, when Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)
FILE - In this June 9, 1996 file photo Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan stands during a break at the end of an NBA Basketball game against the Seattle SuperSonics in Seattle. A Bismarck, N.D., man who used to own McDonald's restaurants is about $10,000 richer after selling a 20-year-old container of McJordan barbecue sauce Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, to a buyer in Chicago. The sauce was used on McJordan Burgers, named for basketball icon in limited markets for a short time in the 1990s, when Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)

Michael Jordan was in his third season when he crafted his string of 40 games with at least 25 points.

His Chicago Bulls were an up-and-coming power that had yet to acquire the additional weapons that would eventually lead to six NBA championships.

They needed Jordan’s scoring brilliance during the 1986-87 season just to have a chance.

Chicago’s second and third leading scorers were a 23-year-old Charles Oakley and a 26-year-old John Paxson. Neither averaged more than 14.5 points, and no other Bull averaged double figures.

So Jordan picked up the slack.

He averaged a career-high 37.1 points. Took a career-high 27.8 shots. Played 40 minutes a night.

Those are a few of the differences between Jordan then and Kevin Durant’s run now.

But the biggest difference is seen in Durant’s superior perimeter shooting. Jordan had yet to develop a reliable 3-point shot during that 1986-87 season. He made just 12 of 66 3-pointers that year. That’s roughly the equivalent of 11 games for Durant.

Jordan relied much more on attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line. He averaged a career-high 11.9 foul shots that season, or 1.9 more than Durant this year.

With little help, however, Jordan led the Bulls to a 40-42 record that season. Chicago lost in three-game, first-round sweep to Boston.

By Darnell Mayberry

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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