Kevin Durant's Career-High 52 Points Give OKC OT Win over Mavs

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIJanuary 19, 2013

Kevin Durant set a new career high by scoring 52 points in a thrilling 117-114 Oklahoma City Thunder win in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks.

If you missed it, you missed one of the best regular-season games in recent history. From late-game heroics to individual brilliance, this game was nothing short of legendary.

Did we mention KD's 52 points?

KEVIN DURANT has a career high 52 points. He's the only player to score 50+ points this season.

— Beyond The Buzzer(@BeyondTheBuzzer) January 19, 2013

Durant achieved this incredible feat by downing a whopping 21 free throws. As for how many he missed, well, he didn't.

Durant nearly set an NBA record in that regard.

Only player to make more FT without a miss than Durant's 21 on Friday was Dominique Wilkins - 23-23 in a game in 1992

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 19, 2013

As for the game itself, it was nothing short of spectacular. Durant and Russell Westbrook did all they could to secure a victory, but O.J. Mayo and the Mavericks just kept on coming.

And coming, and coming.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Mavs were down 87-79. To spark the comeback, Dirk Nowitzki scored 12 points in the fourth quarter alone.

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Elton Brand added 10 points in the final period, while Vince Carter scored five of his team-high 29 in the fourth.

The star of the final period, however, was Mayo.

With the Mavericks trailing by three and just 5.9 seconds remaining in regulation, the Mavericks inbounded the ball with survival on their minds. 

With less than five seconds remaining in regulation, Mayo did the following:

Clutch. Phenomenal. Cold blooded.

Flat out brilliance by O.J. Mayo.

Even LeBron James paid his respect where it was due.

Big time shot by OJ!

— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 19, 2013

When it comes right down to it, however, Durant was just too much.

The Durantula scored nine points during overtime. That matched the Mavericks' overtime total as a team.

The most important shot of all came with 16.5 seconds remaining in overtime. As one could easily guess, the shot was made by Durant:

As a result of this victory, OKC moves to 32-8. Dallas drops to 17-24, four games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Durant improved his season points-per-game average to 29.3 with his 52-point performance. That places him second behind Kobe Bryant as Durant attempts to win his fourth consecutive scoring title.

As for what Durant had to say about his performance, it was the usual KD. You know, all nonchalant and unfazed by the spectacular feat he had achieved.

Just keep on working, KD. Keep on working.

Classic Kevin Durant. After career-high 52 points, Durant said: "I just have to keep getting better and improving."

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 19, 2013

Better? Improved?

I'm not sure we follow, Kevin. You're already at the top of your class.

Just ask Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

Carlisle on Durant: "Best offensive player on the planet. I don't think there's any question about that."

— Earl K. Sneed (@EKS_MavsNBA) January 19, 2013

Let the debate begin.