Kevin Durant's Career-High 52-Point Game Gives Thunder Star Lead in NBA MVP Race

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 29:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is seen on the court during warmups prior to the start of the game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center on December 29, 2012 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Your move, LeBron.

The best player on the planet may have some competition for the NBA's highest individual honor, as Kevin Durant added one incredibly impressive line to his MVP resume Friday night.

The Thunder superstar outdid himself yet again, dropping a career-high 52 points in Oklahoma City's 117-114 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

Durant was unstoppable throughout the game, destroying the Mavericks with a vast array of cold-blooded moves. He toasted the Dallas defense with three-pointers, hard drives to the rim, step-back, one-legged fadeaways and just about every other conceivable shot.

He even delivered the dagger in overtime. With Shawn Marion playing perfect defense, Durant crossed over from right to left, drove into the key and hit a ridiculous floater right in Marion's grill.

That bucket gave the Thunder a 116-114 lead with less than 20 seconds left, effectively clinching the win.

Durant drained 13 of his 31 shots on the night, including five of his nine three-pointers. He also added nine rebounds, and he came close to making league history by hitting 21 of 21 free throws, as ESPN Stats & Info pointed out.

Only player to make more FT without a miss than Durant's 21 on Friday was Dominique Wilkins - 23-23 in a game in 1992

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 19, 2013

With his amazing performance, Durant has now scored at least 41 points in three of his last five games. He is third in the league in scoring, and his Thunder boast the best record in the NBA (32-8).

He still has some work to do before dethroning King James, but with his explosion against the Mavericks, Durant now has a slim lead in the 2013 MVP race.