Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony down to wire for scoring title, but don't expect a battle

Whatever happened to the days when NBA gunslingers came out firing in an effort to become the worldwide scoring leader? Kevin Durant (28.37) and Carmelo Anthony (28.32) are neck-and-neck for this year's scoring crown, but they seem more interested in standing arm-in-arm.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 6, 2013

“Carmelo, Kevin, LeBron (James), Kobe … there's a lot of guys if they really, really, really wanted to lead the league in scoring, they could score over 30 points a game,” Brooks said. “They could run away with it. These guys (Durant and Anthony) are about trying to win a championship, about trying to do what's right for their team.”

When reminded Anthony had just two assists in his 50-point outburst at Miami last Tuesday, Brooks smiled and deadpanned: “Well, if you're on fire, why pass?”

Anthony has been all ablaze his last three outings, averaging 43.7 points while shooting 64.2 percent from the field, 57.9 percent from 3-point range and 88.9 percent from the free-throw line.

“Melo is playing out of his mind,” Milwaukee point guard Brandon Jennings said Friday after Anthony scored 41 in New York's 101-83 victory over the Bucks.

Anthony, who has missed 13 games this season because of injuries, caught fire after his chronically sore right knee was drained March 14.

“It's April,” Anthony said Friday night. “It's time to go. I always take it back to my knee. That was the most important thing to happen to me, getting to the bottom of that. I give credit to getting that procedure done.”

From 1946-69, the league scoring title was determined by total points before switching to points per game. Either way, Durant would have won the last three titles and would be leading Bryant by 159 points this season.

Since 2006, Anthony has finished eighth, second, fourth, eighth, third, third and sixth in the scoring race.

“He can have it,” Durant said of Anthony wearing this year's scoring crown. “I mean, the stuff he's doing right now, every time he touches the ball, it looks like it's going to go in. He's having a nice, nice run right now and his confidence is high, so I'm sure he's going to take over. If it happens, cool.”

At 21 years, 197 days old, Durant became the NBA's youngest scoring champion in 2010. Outwardly, there is a noticeable difference in Durant's demeanor from his first scoring title to seeking his fourth straight.

“I really wanted my first one,” Durant admitted. “Now, it's cool. Don't get me wrong. I never want to take stuff like that for granted. If it happens, it happens. And if it doesn't, I'm just going to play my game. I'm not going to force it too much and think about it too much and try to get it, but if it's meant to be, it'll happen.”


NBA SCORING TITLES

Most consecutive crowns

7 — Wilt Chamberlain (1959-66)

7 — Michael Jordan (1986-93)

3 — Kevin Durant (2009-12)

3 — Michael Jordan (1995-98)

3 — George Gervin (1977-80)

3 — Bob McAdoo (1973-76)

3 — Neil Johnston (1952-55)

3 — George Mikan (1948-51)

Note: From 1946-69, the league scoring title was determined by total points. Since then, it is determined by points-per-game average.

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