Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant extended his streak of scoring at least 25 points to a 39th consecutive game on April 3—putting him one such performance away from tying NBA legend Michael Jordan’s streak of 40 straight.
Make it 39 straight games with 25+points for @KDTrey5. 1 shy of tying Jordan ('86-87) for the longest such streak in the last 50 years— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) April 4, 2014
While Jordan holds the longest streak of the past 50 years, Oscar Robertson (46) and Wilt Chamberlain (80) have the longest streaks of all time, per ESPN Stats & Info.
After three days of rest following a March 30 win against the Utah Jazz, KD notched 28 points in a 106-94 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday. The victory snapped San Antonio’s win streak at 19 games.
Durant now has a chance to tie MJ’s streak against the Houston Rockets on April 4—the second game of a back-to-back set.
While playing two games in two nights can be a struggle for many NBA players, it certainly hasn't hindered Durant. In fact, he's averaging an absurd 45.8 points per game in the second game of back-to-backs during his scoring streak (four games). That includes a 54-point explosion against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 17 and a 51-point outburst versus the Toronto Raptors on March 21.
The lanky small forward has also dominated Houston this season. He’s averaging 37 points per game against the Rockets in three previous affairs and has upped the ante in each consecutive matchup. He scored 33, 36 and 42 points, respectively, in those games—all Thunder wins.
The Rockets have been a respectable defensive squad this season, as they rank 11th in the Association with a defensive rating of 102.5, per ESPN. Their problem against the Thunder stems from the lack of a viable one-on-one matchup with Durant. Neither James Harden nor Chandler Parsons are capable of guarding him (putting it lightly).
Tying Jordan’s historic scoring streak would simply be another feather in KD’s cap during an MVP-caliber 2013-14 season. He's been on fire this year by posting 35.9 points per game in January, 33.4 in February and 34.5 in March.
Kevin Durant is 1st player to average at least 33 PPG in 3 straight calendar months since Michael Jordan in 1989-90 (@eliassports)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 3, 2014
At this juncture, Durant is on pace to finish with averages of at least 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game. The only other players in history who have finished a season with those numbers are Wilt Chamberlain (twice), Michael Jordan and Elgin Baylor, according to Basketball-Reference.
Despite the fact that point guard Russell Westbrook has missed 43 games due to injury, Durant’s dominance has OKC sitting pretty with a 55-19 record—second best in the loaded Western Conference behind the Spurs.
It’s fair to say KD has separated himself as the front-runner to win the league’s Most Valuable Player award at season’s end. The historical context of tying Jordan's streak, however, would all but cement his MVP campaign.