Thunder's Kevin Durant surpasses Michael Jordan's 25-point scoring streak
Kevin Durant scored at least 25 points for the 41st consecutive game during Oklahoma City's 122-115 road loss to Phoenix on Sunday, surpassing Bulls legend Michael Jordan for the longest such single-season streak during the three-point era.
The NBA's scoring leader tallied a game-high 38 points (on on 13-for-28 shooting), 11 rebounds and three assists against Phoenix. 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.
Durant didn't view his history-making as cause for celebration, at least not after the Thunder lost their second straight game.
"I don't really care about it," he said, according to The Oklahoman. "I wish it was over."
The last time Durant didn't score at least 25 points? A Jan. 5 blowout victory over the Celtics in which Durant played just 27 minutes.
Durant tied Jordan's streak during a loss to the Rockets on Friday and entered Sunday'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.
Here's how 2013-14 Durant and 1986-87 Jordan stack up by the numbers.
Durant: Age 25, 32.1 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.3 SPG, 50.8 FG%, 40.9 3P%, 30.4 PER
Jordan: Age 23, 37.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.6 APG, 2.9 SPG, 48.2 FG%, 18.2 3P%, 29.8 PER
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 dropped to 55-21 with the loss 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.