Thunder's Kevin Durant Scores 2nd-Most Points in a Season in Last 23 Years

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffApril 15, 2014

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca (42) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert

After scoring 25 points in Monday's 101-89 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant has 2,551 points this season, marking the second-highest single-season total by any NBA player in the last 23 years, per the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who scored 2,832 points in 2005-06, easily holds the mark for most points in a single season over the last 23 years.

Durant's 2,551 points are 20th-most in a single season in league history, matching George Gervin's total from the 1981-82 campaign while The Iceman was with the San Antonio Spurs. Wilt Chamberlain unsurprisingly holds the record for most points scored in a season with 4,029, which he did back in 1961-62 with the Philadelphia Warriors. Michael Jordan is the only other player to score at least 3,000 in a season, a feat Chamberlain accomplished three times.

Oklahoma City's regular-season finale is Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons, although Durant could be rested, with the Thunder locked into the No. 2 seed for the Western Conference playoffs. If he does play, Durant would need to score at least 30 points to move past Jordan's 1990-91 total of 2,580 points and at least 35 points to move past Gervin's 1979-80 total of 2,585 points. Should he pass both of those players, Durant's 2013-14 campaign would move up to 18th place all time.

Regardless of whether he continues his ascent Wednesday, Durant is averaging a career-high 31.9 points per game this season, the highest scoring average in the NBA since Bryant averaged 35.4 points per game during that aforementioned 2005-06 campaign. At one point, Durant scored at least 25 points in 41 consecutive games, a streak that ended on April 8 against the Sacramento Kings, when he managed only 23.

After three second-place finishes in the NBA MVP voting (2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13), Durant is widely considered to be the front-runner for the award this season.