In the past 10 games, Thunder forward Kevin Durant has averaged 30.2 points on 55.9 percent shooting. Saturday night's 40-point effort in a nine-point win over Memphis marked the second time in two weeks that Durant topped the 40-point plateau.
Durant's other 40-point game this season came on Christmas Night, when he scored 44 against Denver. Saturday was the 14th time in Durant's career that he's scored at least 40 points.
“I've been working hard, just trying to get my rhythm,” Durant said. “Start off the game well. Just playing hard on both ends. I think if I play defense my offense will come around.”
Durant's defense has stood out at times as well over the past week. In the last three games, Thunder coach Scott Brooks utilized Durant at shooting guard. And at Dallas on Thursday, Durant helped to limit Mavs guard Jason Terry's effectiveness late. Durant also played Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay tough Saturday night.
“I want to be challenged every night,” Durant said. “I want to get better every night.”
ROAD CHALLENGE UPCOMING
Five of the Thunder's next seven games will come on the road, starting with Wednesday night's visit to Houston.
The Thunder is 11-7 on the road this season, but the upcoming stretch is a particularly tough one.
Following Wednesday's game at Houston, the Thunder will return home to host Orlando before playing at the Los Angeles Lakers next Monday and at Denver on Wednesday, Jan. 19. New York comes to Oklahoma City on Saturday, Jan. 22, but the Thunder goes back on the road to face New Orleans on Jan. 24 and Minnesota on Jan. 26.
The Rockets, Lakers, Nuggets, Hornets and Timberwolves have a combined 59-30 record on their home court, a .663 percent winning percentage.
BY THE NUMBERS
*3: Blocked shots for Russell Westbrook on Saturday, tying a career-high.
*16: Wins the Thunder has in 18 games in which it out-rebounds its opponent.
*17: Sellouts inside Oklahoma City Arena in 20 games.
*19: Wins the Thunder has in 23 games in which it scores at least 100 points.
*54: The Thunder's current pace for wins this season.
*83.3: Free throw percentage for the Thunder, a league best.