Durant Drops Career-Best 52

 

DALLAS – How many players can go 13-for-31 from the floor and finish with 52 points?

KD can.

Kevin Durant is the first in the league to score 50 this season and the Oklahoma City Thunder needed every last one of his career high to secure a sixth consecutive win, downing the Dallas Mavericks 117-114 in overtime.

It goes down as one of the stranger constructions to the half-century mark with Durant going 8-for-22 on 2-point shots, 5-for-9 from beyond the arc and a season-best 21-for-21 from the free-throw line.

The Mavs thought they did a pretty good job of making things tough for the spindly Durant only to look up to see the scoreboard exploding. What can you say?

“You don’t have to say nothing when you do that,” said teammate Russell Westbrook, who dropped 31 points in the game. “You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to say nothing at all. There isn’t nothing to say. Plain and simple.”

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had this to say: “He’s a great player. Best offensive player on the planet. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”

Durant had 31 points on 50 percent shooting through three quarters and Oklahoma City led 81-72. The Thunder led by as many as 14 in the quarter as well as in the first half, but could never land a knockout blow. Then they nearly lost it in the fourth quarter. Durant suddenly went cold, missing 9-of-11 shots in the period. Yet he hit a jumper with 2:07 to go and then sank six free throws in the final 1:32. Westbrook’s two free throws with 5.9 seconds left put the Thunder up 105-102 and figured to end Durant’s night with 43 points.

O.J. Mayo tied it on a big-time 3 with 2.3 seconds to go, leaving enough time for Durant to get off a decent 20-footer that bounced high off the rim. Durant grabbed the ball and slammed it into the hardwood and smacked it back into his hands.

“I was upset with myself in the fourth quarter,” Durant said. “I missed so many shots and I wasn’t taking it to the rim. I wasn’t putting pressure on the defense, so I was just trying to make up for it in overtime.”

Durant’s OT got off to an inauspicious start. He threw the ball away on the opening possession and then fouled Vince Carter on a 3-ball. Carter made all three free throws and Dallas led 108-105. Then Durant made two more free throws, buried a 3-pointer with 2:05 to play for a 112-110 lead, hit a fallaway leaner going one-on-one with Mayo to retake the lead, 114-113, and then dropped the dagger, a 12-foot floater over Shawn Marion, for a 116-114 lead with 16.9 seconds to go.

“Experience is helping me a lot,” ┬áDurant said. “Just knowing if I look like I’m out there panicking, my teammates are going to be looking the same way. So I’ve got to be cool. If I miss a shot, so be it. I’m sure the opportunity will come back around sooner or later. So I’ve just got to be cool and be confident.”

Which describes KD at the free-throw line where he’s shooting 90.6 percent on the season and remains on line to accomplish the ultra-rare 50-40-90 trifecta — 50 percent field-goal percentage, 40 percent on 3s and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Durant’s free throws went like this: 5-for-5 in the first quarter; 1-for-1 in the second; 5-for-5 in the third; 8-for-8 in the fourth; and 2-for-2 in OT. He was two shy of tying Dominique Wilkins for most consecutive free throws made in a regular-season game.

“For a guy getting 52, I think this is about as good as you can guard him,” said Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki, who knows something about stringing free throws, having made an NBA playoff-record 24 in a row against the Thunder in Game 1 of the 2011 West finals. “Obviously, I think we could have kept him off the line on some occasions where we reach in or, you know, he gets to the line because he’s Kevin Durant.”

It’s good to be Kevin Durant. There’s really nothing more to say about that.

63 Comments

  1. aaron says:

    just to say this. i think the fact that he scored the last 7 points in OT and basically took over for this team is more impressive than the overall 52 he put up. MVP. nuff said. ez one this year for KD

  2. Blazerfan32 says:

    Yeah but you gotta remember, it only Brandon Roy 3 seasons to score 52. So why are we drooling over one of the league’s best scorers scoring a career high of 52 when he has been in the NBA for 6 seasons. No disrespect to KD, it was a great game for him but come on, people, just remember Roy and imagine if he stayed healthy with Portland, imagine where they would be right now.

  3. Ammar says:

    A lot of you guys are bringing up the finals and saying durant couldnt hold lebron but lebron couldnt hold durant either. Durant dropped 30.6 ppg in the finals shooting 50% also. So dont say lebron held durant well and durant couldnt hold him. They cant guard each other. Plus one huge reason miami won was because james harden dissapeared. All the games 2-4 were close except game #5 being a blowout so the finals was closer then you think.

    • bigwes95 says:

      durant couldn’t guard him, watching the finals they put sefolosha on him a lot and durant got into a lot of foul trouble guarding him. durant was rested throughout the games because of the foul trouble. and lebron averaged 28.6 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 7.4 apg, and he changed the momentum of the game so many times to the heat it’s crazy. and durant actually missed 2 or 3 game winning/tying shots in the finals. and harden didn’t disappear, he choked! durant may have averaged those numbers, but lebron did so much more than just score, part of defense is holding somene back from making a huge impact, adn durant couldn’t do that. lebron did it to where durant couldn’t get into a flow (until the 4th quarter when they couldn’t stop each other no matter what) and durant basically only scored in the second half coming out of foul trouble all rested and not tired. the finals were close, but lebron came up bigger and that’s why he is better. his impact is just so much greater than durant. durant HAS to score to win. look at this game, when he stopped scoring, dallas basically won the game. lebron doesn’t need to score in order to win and that makes him truly great. durant will learn, but it’s no contest right now, lebron is better.

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        What separates Durant is that he is … indefatigable.

        Even Lebron said himself that the first-half schedule made him extremely tired or whatever.

        Durant never gets tired. He’s actually getting BETTER as the season progresses.

        Not to take anything away from Lebron James (he and Durant are the best MVP-candidates) but the Thunder would never ever go into a “championship hangover.” Durant’s work ethic is incredible and is all-year-round. Durant never seems to get tired or fatigued. The work ethics of Durant and the Thunder might separate the Thunder as the future 2013 NBA World Champions!

  4. W/E says:

    Dallas should won that game, Durant was jacking shoots and all those fouls they gave him were ridiculous, some of them should even be called against him,I hope he doesnt start playing like Harden, i really dont like this type of scoring get to the foul line mentallity where offensive players do ridicoulous hopeless moves asking desperately for the foul every time,its pretty lame really, James Harden does that alot cause he cant shoot the ball…

  5. Duran-tula! lol-i don’t know why a few of you say it’s not that impressive cause of the 21 freethrows-yeah that is excessive but he still had 31pts w/o them. It’s not like other all stars don’t get to the charity strike that often. refs carry kobe & lbj there a few times a year on a regular & it’s usually unwarranted. KD got there legit & i’m a die hard Celts fan who doesn’t give props to too many opposing players. KD gets his legit on a regular just like The Truth Pierce, they don’t have the refs kiss their a??! Good job KD!

  6. KingLBjBoy says:

    In early days of t-Mac he’s like KD

  7. KingLBjBoy says:

    3 time scoring can never be the same like 3 MvP lmao ^^

  8. icarlyclup says:

    I’m a KD fan but the game was messed up by the refs

  9. garie says:

    of course you’ll get a lot of score even if you’re having a bad day by shooting the ball many times like kobe. I admire KD for not losing confidence and not putting himself down even if he’s not shooting well that night. OKC just have no option because westbrook was closely guarded. They trusted KD to carry them.

    for individual performance, it’s impressive. It’s not easy to put p a pile of points. Team wise, it’s not impressive at all.

  10. James says:

    Kobe is the leading scorer and thats why the Laker wont make the playoff

  11. rvboi says:

    what the heck was special about his performance? he was shooting 13/31, he missed 18 shots, he scored 52 points because of free throws, there’s a reason why it’s called a free throw.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Well, he almost tied Dominique Wilkins’ record for single-game consecutive FT made. I think his record for the NBA is 23-23. Durant was close with a 21-21 clip.

  12. Chris says:

    21 Fts… so he finally got the superstar bonus.

    • Jordan says:

      Kobe Is Averaging 30 PPG Number 1 In The League. Points = Scoring. Therefore Kobe Is The Best Scorer In The League Obviously The Numbers Dont Lie. And Hes 34 Years Old 17th Season Only Guard Ever To Average 15+ PPG In His 17th Season He Averages 30. And Dont Give Me Any Other Reasons Why KD Is A Better Scorer. Because At The End Of The Day Scorring Means Putting The Ball In The Basket. Not Who Has More Ways To Put The Ball In The Basket.

      • bigwes95 says:

        @jordan. points doesn’t equal best scorer. i’ve seen games of brandon roy versing kobe and roy just makes him look silly. roy onced scored 32, and kobe scoed 32, and it was the same game. the difference: roy only took 13 shots and kobe took 38 shots. three times the amount of shots to get the same amount of points! and you’ll put the ball in the basket when you take atleast 22shots per game compared to someone who takes 18 and doesn’t average more than 1/2 a point more. efficiency should be the tool used most for how good someone is at scoring, not how many points they average, otherwise wilt chamberlain is the greatest scorer of all time if you take away the three pointers from MJ and put two’s and then his average would be less than chamberlain’s. and not to discount the fact that chamberlain competely changed his game to defense to win games instead of offense only (if he wanted to score more, he would have) where he still probably would have averaged around 20-25 points in his last season

      • Joshua Greenfarb says:

        Durant has already almost leap-frogged Bryant in the best-scorer race according to current PPG rankings. This game in which he scored 52 only increased his PPG by like four-tenths of a point. Ha! But it closed the gap a lot. Bryant is plummeting. Durant is actually getting better as the season progresses. That’s pretty scary. And Anthony will get close to Durant’s PPG. Once this season is over, it’ll be interesting if either Durant or Anthony wins this season’s scoring title. I think it will be Durant again but barely over Anthony.

  13. NBA Fan says:

    It’s funny how in 2011 there was no article on how to score almost 50 points, while only taking 15 shots, when Dirk got 48 on 12-15 from the field and 24-24 form the free throw line.

  14. Witwiw says:

    What if Lebron had the Shooting of Ray Allen , just imagine it guys , Im a Lebron fan, but i still hope that LA can still make it , before Kobe go out , we can still see Lebron and kobe battle it out in the Finals, but my mind is telling me it will be a rematch Miami vs OKC – Miami in 6

  15. Shawn says:

    KD is not that far from LeBron.. KD is actually still trying to put his game together, he as more potential to be better.. Lebron is still the best player in the league, but sometimes I forget that he’s even in the league

  16. Rfffff says:

    If you wanna compare KD to LeBron, let’s say that KD can think about reaching LeBron offensibely (even though LeBron doesn’t get 50 points because he doesn’t shoot that much and shares the ball), but on the defensive end this is a not match. KD wasn’t able to guard anything on LeBron in the finals, whereas LeBron can guard anybody. I can agree saying KD is the better scorer, but better player and MVP worth is a huge fantasy.

  17. jfack says:

    kd shouldve won the mvp last year. he better win it this year!

  18. sebo says:

    he cited dirk there scoring points number 49 and 50! =) totally an original dirk shot!!!!

  19. pedro desde canarias says:

    very few people in the history of the nba had finished a season with 50%40%90%,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50%E2%80%9340%E2%80%9390_Club

    And only two players had done that feat more than once; larry bird (2) and Steve Nash(4 and almost 5) Calderon did it once and almost twice (just shy by 4 field goals)
    Only one player has had a 50-50-90 season:
    Steve kerr .506-.514-.929

  20. DANITo says:

    kobe is the best scorer in the nba. durant lebron, and melo. wont average 30 piont per game at age 34. they depend on their athletetism when they get older they wont be the same. kobe got it all, he makes the hardest shot in the nba and his foot work is amazing.

    • jfack says:

      disagree, this is what happens when durant shoots as much as kobe. he scores 50. kd and lebron have learned how to do what kobe does but do it more efficiently. i guarantee durant and lebron still will be scoring this way at 34. especially durant. when your 7 foot, youre always going to be able to get shots off even if your old and slow.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      Disagree with you there, DANITo.

      Durant is indefatigable. He has a supreme work ethic all-year-round which will enable Durant to excel at high levels for years and years to come.

  21. lol says:

    21 free throws? Really, It’s no big trick to score 52 when you get 21 free throws. Plus the Mavericks don’t have anyone that can guard KD.

  22. KingLBjBoy says:

    Catch 20k & 5k then u can compare these 2 players LBJ still d best player in d planet by d way take ibaka and s thunder r nothing

  23. OctoPPus says:

    DURANT FRY !!!

  24. Macky says:

    Actually Durant took a lot of jump shots against Dallas. He’s usually driving to the basket more but in this game he got away from it a lot. Not sure why, probably because he was turning it over when driving. I’ve seen some Thunder games this year where he purely drives to the basket with only 3-4 jump shots.

  25. Kings #4 says:

    As long as Durant stays healthy I think he will be the better of the James VS Durant, he is incredible already and improving steadily, I think so far this year he should be MVP. The difference in team records is very big right now and Kevin Durant is the force that is driving these Thunder. I also think the experience KD and his Thunder gained in the finals last year and with this improved Durant will give them the edge and they look like winning a championship this year.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I agree.

      If not this year, certainly Durant and the Thunder will have many, many future opportunities to be West Champs or NBA World Champs.

      We’re looking at a dynasty.

  26. AnnoYouLater says:

    whats really impressive is that he took 21 FT,KD prefer open jump shots, but in this game, it means he was driving the ball and getting contacts ,it makes the defense of the other team really uncomfortable and very likely to put them to foul troubles…

  27. Megan says:

    My sister is a big thunder fan

  28. TLS says:

    Did Dirk just make a comment about someone being sent to the line because of who they are? Really Dirk?

    • dattebayo says:

      I have seen Durant shove Andre Kirilenko to the ground in OKC. He was rewarded with 2 freethrows…

  29. kobefan says:

    It’s no brainer.. Durant should be the season MVP for 2012 – 2013 season. His team is on the top of the over all standing.. LBJ team is more better than Durant but look who’s team is in the overall spot of the standing.. Durant deserved to be the season MVP of this season don’t let the propaganda of LBJ take away Durants KIA MVP again.. Remove Lebron in Miami and Miami will still have the chance to get into playoffs with Wade,Bosh and Allen.. Remove Durant in OKC and I don’t think Westbrook can carry OKC to get into the playoffs.. Durant should get the season MVP..

    • Saeed says:

      If KD was in a team that LBJ is, he could not do what LBJ did.
      OKC has SIZE, has DEPTH, has a superstar Russel Westbrook who is much more ATHLETIC than the 31-year-old D Wade.
      The best shotblocker is in OKC. One of the best zone defenders, Sefolosha, is in OKC.
      Remember last year’s West Finals against Spurs, you named Sefolosha as SPECIALOSHA!!!
      and remember last year’s east finals, Miami without ANY size, went into trouble against Celtics.
      Who saved the HEAT?
      It was LeBron’s 45-15-5 on 73% shooting from the Field!!!

      • stanyang703 says:

        are u kidding me? russel is more athletic but is not a better player than dwayne wade. Miami still got bosh who can post up and also make mid range jump shots. not to mention ray allen, 3 point record holder. miami clearly has the most stacked roster in the NBA

      • NBA Fan says:

        No, it was the Celtics who couldn’t make it count, when they should. The same story was with Indiana. After they got a 2-1 lead they just stopped using Hibbert and West on offense, which was completely ridiculous. If they utilized the size they had, Heat would probably not make it to the Finals.

      • sharpshooterjames says:

        @stanyoung that would be the lakers, clippers, or knicks. Miami is a 3 man show OKC has a much better bench and you guys have 4 goto guys including ibaka and besides have you even watched the heat okc fan without Lebron who would carry the weight for this team not ageing wade and not sidekick bosh and ray is 37. Russel westbrook is better then wade this season even i am admiting that and wade is my favorite sg. Lebron clearly deserves the mvp.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      How about this?

      Whichever team finishes with the BEST overall NBA record should be the team with the 2013 NBA MVP.

      Durant? Westbrook?

      James? Wade?

      Paul? Griffin?

      Anthony?

  30. Frank says:

    Durant: 21 fts

    The entire mavs team: 30 fts

    League darling much?

  31. Macky says:

    I agree with people saying Lebron is better but they’re pretty damn close. The biggest differences I see is Lebron is a much better ball handler since he pretty much plays the point for the Heat whereas KD plays more off the ball for the thunder. KD’s lateral movement defensively is just as good as Lebron’s this year but LBJ is a much better off the ball defender. They both can score in a variety of ways when needed for their teams. There’s only a couple of things Lebron does better and that’s why he’s the best in the league, but if you think its a big difference in skill level, you’re just a fan boy. These two are 1a and 1b in the league with the rest of the players so far off of them in terms of talent and production.

    • jfack says:

      thats funny, lebron is not a much better ball handler. theyre pretty even there. durant can handle the rock as good as anybody.

      • bigwes95 says:

        but don’t you have to remember the finals when lebron basically destryoed durant? durant couldn’t stop lebron, and if they did, he just got everyone else involved. KD said it in this article, that he took shots even though he was cold and didn’t really make anything. and when KD got stopped on scoring, they basically lost the game. lebron doesn’t have to score to win, but KD does, that’s why lebron is so much better, and i’m not saying KD isn’t close, but not as close as you think he is. and lebron usually destroys anything in his way if he wanted to, all durant is better at is shooting, maybe ball handling, and … that’s about it, really.

    • selcao says:

      amen… this is church….

    • One Hit Wonder says:

      bron and durant will only be equal on the defensive end once durant guards bron like bron guarded him last finals. KD was basically in foul trouble whenever he tried guarding bron. and on the other hand bron made every shot of durant DIFFICULT

    • QuestionMark says:

      They are equal in ball handling, Lebron is just a better playmaker, KD is obviously a better scorer. KD’s signature move is turning to a crossover drive, he has done it many times, for his size and his handles, it is incredible.

  32. Franky Knocklez says:

    it was a great game. Vince was insane dunking on Ibaka like that. But KD is KD bottom line.

  33. Kevin says:

    Why people say that Mello is the best scorer of the NBA?It’s pretty obvious that Durant is the best.The guy is a beast…

    • sharpshooterjames says:

      who said that? everyone says Kobe is the best scorer(I hate Kobe and he obviously is not). Melo to me has a one demensional game and all he can do is score by shooting 3′s. Kd on the other hand does more then melo on the boards and defense. Since all melo can do is score people tend to hype his scoring up but the facts are that melo hasnot had a season scoring 30 or more a game while durant and lebron have had seasons like that. Therefore I agree with you that Durant is the best scorer but I’m am a bit confused at where you heard anyone directly say that melo is the best scorer.

  34. Twin Tower! says:

    Thunder will strike down on the Heat, splash the flame, and put it out cold this season.

  35. John says:

    Your d man KD hope OKC vs HEAT in Final Again…Usual HEAT still Champs

  36. Chris says:

    I’m not a big thunder fan but I love watching Kevin Durant play. People shouldn’t put him up against Lebron James though, Lebron has more league experience but I think Durant at 28 will be better than Lebron is now

    • Saeed says:

      Ok, just compare Durant with LeBron at 2008-2009 season.
      Can he get close to leBron at 2008-2009 season?
      I leave it to you to discuss.

      • QuestionMark says:

        KD isn’t in his prime yet, meaning he has lots of room for improvement, which is pretty scary seeing as he won 3 scoring titles and has been in the #2 MVP the last few years.

    • sharpshooterjames says:

      You just not to put him up against lebron james and did exactly that. KD at 28 will be good but he won’t have the same impact as lebron now. he may not even have the same impact as Lebron at 32.