A look at the Thunder’s next nine games and what Kevin Durant faces in his quest to surpass Michael Jordan for the longest stretch over the past 50 years of games in one regular season with at least 25 points.
Thursday — at Cleveland
•Durant’s career averages against the Cavs: 25.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 49.8 FG%, 12 games.
•Projected primary defender: Luol Deng.
•Comment: Deng is a quality defender, but the Cavs were yielding 105.2 points per game in March prior to Tuesday’s visit by Miami. And if Russell Westbrook is held out for rest, Durant will be forced to do a little more.
Friday — at Toronto
•Durant’s career averages against the Raptors: 23.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.7 apg, 42.4 FG%, 11 games.
•Projected primary defender: Terrence Ross.
•Comment: You might have never guessed that Durant has averaged fewer points against the Raptors than any other team. But it’s true. Some of that might have to do with lopsided final scores, because KD’s 35.6 minutes against Toronto also is his lowest against any team. But this year, the Raptors are actually a quality defensive team, ranking sixth in defensive efficiency. But if Gerald Green can score 28 on them, which he did Sunday, surely Durant can reach 25.
March 24 — vs. Denver
•Durant’s career averages against the Nuggets: 30.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.4 apg, 47 FG%, 25 games.
•Projected primary defender: Wilson Chandler.
•Comment: Durant has owned Denver. The Nuggets are one of only three teams that Durant has averaged at least 30 points against for his career. Golden State and Indiana are the other two. Denver has given up at least 25 points to an opposing player in six of their past nine games. Between the Nuggets’ deficient defense and them playing in OKC on the second night of a back-to-back, Durant should have no trouble adding his name to the list.
March 25 — at Dallas
•Durant’s career averages the Mavericks: 24.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.0 apg, 42.2 FG%, 23 games.
•Projected primary defender: Shawn Marion.