Durant's big night also marked the most points scored in an NBA game during the 2013-14 season, eclipsing the previous high of 48 points, which Durant set twice (Jan. 4 at the Timberwolves and Jan. 7 at the Jazz).
"I made a few shots and I felt good," Durant told ESPN during a televised post-game interview. "My teammates were throwing me the ball with two or three guys on me and I still tried to make a play. Those guys sacrificed their bodies setting screens for me, to get me open, it's my job to finish for them. I saw the bench jump up every time I hit a shot, that's one of the best feelings."
The three-time scoring champ shot 19-for-28 from the field, 5-for-9 on three-pointers and 11-for-13 from the line. He added six assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block in 44 minutes.
The 54-point outburst marked the third 50-point game of Durant's career, but the first time he crossed that threshold in regulation. Durant surpassed his previous career-high of 52 points, set in a Jan. 18, 2013, game against the Mavericks that went into overtime. Durant's other 50-plus point performance came in a Feb. 19, 2012, game against the Nuggets in which he scored 51 points. That game also went into overtime.
Here are a few odds and ends regarding Durant's explosive scoring outburst ...
- The last time someone scored 54 points? Warriors guard Stephen Curry hit that mark on Feb. 27, 2013, against the Knicks.
- The time time someone scored more than 54 points? Nets guard Deron Williams went off for 57 points in a March 4, 2012, victory over the Bobcats.
- The last time someone scored 54 or more points on 28 or fewer shots? Curry (18-for-28 shooting, 11-for-13 on threes) against the Knicks. Prior to that: Jermaine O'Neal, who scored 55 points (on 18-for-28 shooting and 19-for-25 from the line) for the Pacers during a Jan. 5, 2005, game against the Bucks.
- An NBA player has scored 46 or more points in a game three times this season. Durant accounts for all three.
- An NBA player has scored 42 or more points 11 times in a game this season. Durant accounts for four of those 11.
It's difficult to produce a cleaner shot chart than this.
The Chesapeake Energy Arena serenaded Durant with "MVP" chants and The Oklahoman called his performance "MVP-worthy indeed," but the four-time All-Star wasn't ready to go that far, at least not yet.
“It’s premature,” Durant countered when asked about the MVP chants. “It’s still early in the season. I try not to think about that type of stuff. Of course, as a player, you would love to win the MVP award. But I can’t think about that. I can’t take my focus off the team. Every day I got to just keep chipping away and keep enjoying the process and we’ll see what happens.”
Durant, 25, is currently leading the league in scoring at 30.6 points per game.
Oklahoma City improved to 30-10 with the victory. Video via YouTube user Frank Smith