Kevin Durant went for 54 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's win Friday night, 127-121, against the Golden State Warriors. It was the seventh 50-point game since 2009 and the first of the 2013-2014 NBA season. The crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena were raucous with their MVP chants, and the NBA scoring leader just might be on his way to claiming that title for the first time in his career.
Durant's line was insane. His 54 points came on 19-of-28 shooting, including 5-of-9 on three-pointers. Durant added 11 made free throws, six assists, four rebounds, and two steals.
Compared to recent 50-point NBA games, Durant looked fairly balanced on Friday night. His 13 times at the free throw line were the most of any 50-point game since his own 21 attempts in a 52-point effort against the Mavericks in January 2013.
At 68 percent, Durant shot the ball well from the field. He had the highest percentage on his two-point shots (.737) since Damon Stoudamire went for 54 in January 2005, and his game-high 28 field goal attempts in 44 minutes outdid Stephen Curry (18) and Andre Iguodala (8) combined.
The 54-point game marks Durant's career-high in scoring. Previously, he had two 50+ games -- the previously-mentioned contest against the Mavericks and a 51-point try against Denver in 2012.
Durant's game logs have been staggering as of late. In the month of January, he has scored 48 points twice, and surpassed his season average of 30.6 points per game in six out of the Thunder's last nine contests.
In terms of efficiency, Durant's effort is one of the better 50-point games we've seen in recent years. Carmelo Anthony had 50 points on 26 attempts, including 7-of-10 from three-point range, in a win over the Miami Heat in April 2013. Andre Miller's January 2010 game against the Nuggets also comes to mind, when the former Trail Blazers guard attempted and made just one three-pointer while shooting eight free throws on the way to pouring in 52 points.
Durant has been on a scoring tear ever since a knee injury sidelined Russell Westbrook in December. Over the Thunder's last 10 games, he is averaging 36.8 points per game on 49 percent shooting. Oklahoma City currently stand at 30-10, putting them at third in the Western Conference.