Kevin Durant is really good at this whole basketball thing.
Anyone who forgot, or has been boycotting his performances for all of 2013-14, was reminded of just how good in the Oklahoma City Thunder's seventh consecutive win, a 103-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
In 44 minutes, Durant notched a triple-double with 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists on a scintillating 12-of-17 shooting from the floor, further extending his already impressive streak of offensive dominance, per ESPN Stats & Information:
Kevin Durant: 10th straight game with at least 30 Pts. Tied with Kobe and LeBron for longest such single-season streak in last 10 seasons— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2014
Over the last five games, The Oklahoman's Anthony Slater points out Durant has been especially unstoppable:
Kevin Durant's last five games: 198 points on 70-of-107 shooting. That's 39.6 ppg on 65% FG.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 26, 2014
Resting a sore shoulder in Oklahoma City's game against the Boston Celtics one night before could have slowed him down. It could have brought his scorching streak to an end.
It could have grounded him, bringing Durant back to a quaint little place we like to call "Planet Earth."
But it didn't. Durant picked up right where he left off, dominant, unflappable and assertive as ever.
The Scoring; Oh The Scoring
Ten straight games of 30-plus points don't do Durant's torrid offensive game justice.
Since Jan. 7, he's averaging 38.2 points, a full 8.2 more than anyone else in the league (Carmelo Anthony, 30.0). He's also had three 40-plus point games during that time, including a career-high 54-point outing, bringing his season total to five, three more than anyone else.
On a larger scale, he's dropped 382 total points in this span, nearly 100 more than LeBron James (284).
More to the point, Durant is scoring more than 43 percent of Oklahoma City's points when he's on the floor over the last 10 games, according to NBA.com (subscription required), which ranks first among all players who have appeared in at least seven contests since Jan. 7.
The percent of Oklahoma City's offense he accounts for in general has been simply incredible:
|% OKC FGs Made||% 3Ps Made||%FTM||%PTs|
Put it this way: When Durant's on the floor, he's accounting for more than a third of Oklahoma City's made shots, and nearly 70 percent of their made free throws.
So wow, and stuff.
The Efficiency; Oh The Efficiency
Scoring means little if it's not accompanied by efficiency in this day and age, when we typically scorn those with erratic touches.
Spoiler: Durant isn't someone we detest.
During his streak, he's connecting on 54 percent of his shot attempts, even though he's attempting 22.6 a night. Players don't do that; they don't hit on more than half their shots when exceeding 20. It just doesn't happen consistently. The last player to bury more than 50 percent of his shots while attempting at least 22 for an entire season was Michael Jordan in 1991-92, more than 20 years ago.
Ten games obviously has nothing on an entire season, but that's not the point. Durant is displaying Jordan-esque style scoring touches, pairing volume with efficiency, which is difficult no matter how long you do it for:
Absurd. Incredibly absurd.
Despite shooting more, Durant is posting similar or better percentages across the board, something that isn't to be discounted during a stretch like this.
With more shots and free throws come more opportunities to miss. To regress from a billboard of efficiency to the less-flattering mean.
Even while maintaining above-average volume totals, Durant remains head and shoulders above the rest.
More Than Just His Streak
Perhaps the greatest part about Durant's scoring streak is he's been more than just a scorer.
Over these last 10 games, he's handing out 6.1 dimes, assisting on 36.5 percent of Oklahoma City's made baskets when on the floor. That's astounding for someone already carrying as heavy a scoring load as he his.
And he's done it all without a safety net, without Russell Westbrook.
Largely on his own, he's catapulted Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference, putting it in position to retain contender status despite losing one of the league's best point guards. Few players can do that. Then again, not many of them are like Durant, a rare scorer who can attach efficiency to his volume, and substance to his gaudy stat lines.
"I thought Kevin was fantastic all the way around," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said after their win over Philly, via USA Today's Jason Wolf. "Defensively, offensively, moving the basketball, rebounding the ball, and he did a great job of finding Serge."
All season, Durant has done everything and anything it takes to win. He's been more than just streaks and stretches of unparalleled potency, which is actually what makes this streak so special.