Kevin Durant 'Better Than He's Ever Been' as Nets Star Drops 45 in Win over Magic

Doric SamNovember 29, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 28: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets keeps the ball from Kevon Harris #7 of the Orlando Magic in the first half at Barclays Center on November 28, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

After overcoming some early-season tumult, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant is playing at a level that is reminiscent of his 2014 MVP campaign.

The 12-time All-Star dropped 45 points to help lead the Nets to a 109-102 win over the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center on Monday night. Durant shot an efficient 19-of-24 from the field and added seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks.

The Nets had gotten off to a 1-5 start and eventually parted ways with head coach Steve Nash. Now that the team has found some stability under new head coach Jacque Vaughn, Durant is playing with a freedom and joy that hasn't been seen from him in recent years. He toyed with Magic defenders and dictated the offensive flow for Brooklyn.

NBA Twitter lit up with excitement over Durant's vintage performance on Monday:

🏁 Jamal Crawford @JCrossover

KD is better than he’s ever been!

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

KD laughing in his defender's face before scoring 😳 <a href="https://t.co/12LbACwWGA">pic.twitter.com/12LbACwWGA</a>

LeBron James @KingJames


Rob Perez @WorldWideWob

one of those KD games that i find myself just giggling at everything.

Brooklyn Netcast @BrooklynNetcast


Evan Roberts @EvanRobertsWFAN

Not sure how much longer we’ll get to see it… but watching Kevin Durant play basketball nightly is special

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer

Kevin Durant is putting on an absolute clinic tonight. He's got 41 with just under seven left.

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Kevin Durant has taken 22 shots so far tonight and missed only five of them.<br><br>Kevin Durant remains excellent at basketball.

Brooklyn Netcast @BrooklynNetcast

Kevin Durant is in another world right now even by Kevin Durant standards.

Matt Brooks @MattBrooksNBA

Kevin Durant. Quite good at this sport

Dre🐍 @WaveyForever

A Kevin Durant Masterclass is taking place right now

Reed Wallach @ReedWallach

Watching Kevin Durant tonight <a href="https://t.co/jm6JpeEkTo">https://t.co/jm6JpeEkTo</a>

Dubs & Suns Run The West @DubSuns

Yeah… Kevin Durant is still the best player in the NBA 😮‍💨

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Kevin Durant is the 14th-oldest player to score 45.<br><br>39: Michael Jordan, Jamal Crawford<br>38: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar<br>37: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James<br>36: Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone<br>35: Larry Bird, Alex English<br>34: Stephen Curry, Pau Gasol, Bernard King, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Durant

Durant entered Monday ranked seventh in the league with 29.3 points per game. He has now dropped over 30 points in each of his last three games, showing he's still capable of scoring explosions at any time.

The Nets (11-11) will continue to ride Durant's shoulders when they host the Washington Wizards (11-10) on Wednesday.