Kevin Durant Within Striking Distance of Michael Jordan Record

Jared PorterCorrespondent IIMarch 30, 2014

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots a foul shot in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, March 24, 2014. Oklahoma City won 117-96.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Associated Press

The comparisons of Kevin Durant to the great Michael Jordan were inevitable. Durant has proven to be one of the best scorers in the league, and his recent streak of 38 games with 25 points or more have catapulted his name in the greatest-scorer-of-all-time debate among NBA fans and followers. 

Durant's streak is currently the second-best in the NBA since 1985. The only person ahead of him (40 straight games with 25 or more points) is MJ himself, as ESPN Stats & Info reminds us: 

Kevin Durant 38 straight games with 25 or more points, longest single-season streak since Michael Jordan, 40 in 1985-86

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 30, 2014

Take a second to admire the magnitude of the absolute tear Durant is on right now. It's one thing to score 25 points in any basketball game, whether it's in a game of pick-up in the neighborhood or in a high school junior varsity game. 

Durant is doing it consistently against professionals. 

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 25:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks on March 25, 2014 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

The last game Kevin Durant failed to score at least 25 points was on Jan. 5 when he scored 21 against the Boston Celtics in a 119-96 victory. To put that into perspective, the Philadelphia 76ers were still 26 days away from the start of their epic 26-game losing streak, and David Stern was still commissioner of the NBA. 

As expected, Durant's streak has helped his effort this season in taking over LeBron James in the MVP race. The MVP debate has lost most of its appeal due to Durant being the clear front-runner. 

And as Royce Young noted last week on, the often used LeBron-is-coasting argument is lacking justification: 

On the MVP front, @GBOthunder tweeted me a good point: The often used excuse for LeBron and the Heat are that they’re coasting. I don’t think LeBron is, but if so, shouldn’t that just be more MVP points for KD? How could we award the league’s most prestigious award to a guy that isn’t bringing it every night, compared to a guy that is consistently putting up absurd numbers every game he plays?

The race has been over for a while now, so just consider these next couple weeks Durant’s victory tour. The only question to me is now, how many writers will have the stones to actually still give LeBron a first place vote? I’m not saying it should be unanimous, but I’d like to hear the reasoning for those picking LeBron over Durant this season.

Durant said last year he was tired of being second. And his performance this season is backing that claim. He's chasing MJ in the record books with his current streak as opposing teams watch helplessly.

And even though Durant is facing a huge gap in his statistical comparisons with Jordan, he is still putting his name out there in the same breath as Jordan, the greatest to have ever played the game. That's an incredible feat in itself. 

However, overtaking Jordan's record will not be a cake walk for Durant. He needs three more games of 25 or more points scoring to have the record to himself. And the Thunder's next three games are against playoff teams in the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns

Many eyes will be on Durant as he chases history. It's certainly rare for players to have the opportunity to surpass MJ in the record books, but Durant is just three games away. 

Go streak, go. 

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