Thunder's Kevin Durant matches Michael Jordan's 25-point scoring streak
Kevin Durant scored at least 25 points for the 40th consecutive game during Oklahoma City's 111-07 road loss to Houston on Friday, tying Bulls legend Michael Jordan for the longest such single-season streak during the three-point era.
The NBA's scoring leader tallied 28 points (on 7-for-19 shooting), 12 rebounds and six assists against Houston. He was stuck on 22 points until the game's final minute, when he connected on two three-pointers to push him over the top. Durant, a five-time All-Star is on track for his fourth career scoring title and is considered by many to be the favorite to win the 2014 MVP award.
''We lost the game, that's all I'm worried about,'' he said of the streak, according to the Associated Press. ''I don't care. We lost.''
Durant entered Friday's action averaging a career-high 32.1 points per game, the highest mark since Lakers guard Kobe Bryant averaged 35.4 points and Sixers guard Allen Iverson averaged 33 points during the 2005-06 season.
Jordan scored at least 25 points in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season, his third year in the league. That year, Jordan's age-23 season, he averaged a career-high 37.1 points per game, the highest mark by any player since 1963. Jordan's 3,041 points that season also marked a career-high, and they are the most points anyone besides Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain has scored in a season. Jordan was not selected as the 1987 MVP, losing out to Lakers legend Magic Johnson, but he was an All-Star and an All-NBA First Team selection. The following year, Jordan won the first of his five career MVP awards.
The longest single-season streak of games with at least 25 points was set by Chamberlain, who managed the feat in 80 straight games for the Philadelphia Warriors during the 1961-62 season. That year, a 25-year-old Chamberlain averaged an all-time record 50.4 points per game and set another record by scoring 100 points in a single game.
Trailing Chamberlain is fellow Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson, who scored at least 25 points in 46 straight games for the 1963-64 Cincinnati Royals. That year, the 12-time All-Star guard averaged a career-high 31.4 points, 11 assists and 9.9 rebounds and took home MVP honors.
Oklahoma City fell to 55-20 with the loss on Friday. Durant will have a chance to eclipse Jordan's record on Sunday, when the Thunder visit the Suns on Sunday. If Durant's streak continues for the rest of the Thunder's season, and he plays in every game, it would reach 47 games, passing Robertson.Video via YouTube user NBA