In a battle between the early season elite, Kevin Durant went MVP and led the Oklahoma City Thunder by the Atlanta Hawks. The Thunder escaped with a 100-92 road victory to extend their winning streak to 12 games.
Durant finished with 41 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. The MVP award continues to creep toward Oklahoma City.
Durant was a marksman from the floor, converting 14-of-23 attempts from the field. He hit 4-of-8 three-point attempts and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
This is right on par with Durant's season slash line of .519/.430/.900.
As for how rare this performance was, it wasn't. This was Durant's 22nd career 40-point game. That's a shocking statistic considering Durant is in his sixth year in the league.
Kevin Durant went for 41 in a Thunder win over Atlanta.It's Durant's 22nd career 40-point game. #Durantula— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) December 20, 2012
If that's not impressive enough for you, allow ESPN Stats & Information to provide some numbers to blow you away.
Kevin Durant: 10th career game with at least 40 points and 10 rebounds, 1st this season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 20, 2012
As for how Durant reached 41, he did so in his usual ways—solid through three quarters and absolutely spectacular during the fourth quarter.
This is the direct reason OKC held on for their 12th consecutive victory.
Kevin Durant scores 18 of his 41 points in the fourth, lifting OKC past Atlanta. Nubyjas Wilborn of HawksHoop has reax. es.pn/UG6lft— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) December 20, 2012
More of the brilliant same from the Durantula.