The Oklahoma City Thunder knocked off the Golden State Warriors to the tune of 127-121 in front of their home fans, but that wasn’t the real story.
Superstar Kevin Durant put on a dazzling display of pure-scoring with a career-high 54 points. He shot 19-of-28 from the field and 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line, and his scoring burst in the fourth quarter gave the Thunder a big enough lead to come away with the victory. The Warriors took to Twitter in a classy move that acknowledged Durant's huge night:
After a performance like that, we have to give it up for KD. 54 points on 19-for-28 shooting. Kevin Durant #NBABallot— Golden St. Warriors (@warriors) January 18, 2014
Durant’s display broke his previous career-high of 52 points versus the Dallas Mavericks.
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Durant led the league in scoring coming into the contest with 30 points a game, which was an entire four points a night higher than the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Durant's display against the Warriors likely did nothing to quell James' jealousy of Durant's role in the offense.
MVP chants rained down on the Thunder’s franchise player as he dazzled the fans during the fourth quarter.
After a pair of free throws, Kevin Durant has a career-high 54 points, most in the NBA since Steph Curry's game at MSG last season.— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) January 18, 2014
ESPN Stats and Info Tweeted out Durant's ridiculous shot chart and indicated just how special of a season Durant is having:
Kevin Durant's shot chart from tonight is a thing of beauty pic.twitter.com/65JFZxEmtr— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2014
Durant: 3rd career 50-pt game. He has the 3 highest scoring games this season (also has 48 twice)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 18, 2014
As for the Thunder, any win they can get with Russell Westbrook sidelined is critical. They are looking up at San Antonio and Portland in the standings in the quest for the best record in the Western Conference.
If Durant continues to play like this, accumulating those wins should not be a problem.