Durant scored 46 points on 17-of-25 shooting, nailing 6-of-7 three-pointers and notching 11 points in the final three-plus minutes as the Thunder took control of the game.
Durant was so good that Blazers reserve guard Mo Williams questioned whether the Son of God himself could stop the scoring barrage:
Mo Williams on Kevin Durant's 46-point, 5-rebound, 4-assist performance: "They way he was playing, he probably could have scored on Jesus."— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) January 22, 2014
With Russell Westbrook out, Durant has taken it upon himself to carry the Thunder, and his performance in the month of January has been stuff of legend. In 11 games this month, Durant is averaging 37.0 points, 5.9 assists and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 52.2 percent overall and 39.2 percent from three. He has three 40-point games, a 50-point game and has been under 30 points just twice.
Durant has scored 30 points in eight straight games, averaging 39.3 points over that stretch. It's the second-longest such streak of his career, as he reached 30 points in nine consecutive games in 2010. However, that was spread out over two seasons.
Durant's numbers become historic when you narrow them down to the last three games. With his monster effort against the Blazers, Durant became the first player in NBA history to have three straight games with 30 or more points while shooting at least 66 percent overall and at least 55 percent from three. A handful of players, including Kevin Love, have reached those numbers two games in a row, but Durant is now the only one to do it in three consecutive games.
The run Durant is on brings back some memories of some other great stretches from some of the best scorers in the post-Jordan era. When LeBron James scored 30 points or more in 10 straight games during the 2005-06 season, he averaged 37.9 points. Tracy McGrady scored at least 30 points in 14 straight games in March 2003, averaging 37.4 points during that span.
And then there's Kobe Bean Bryant.
Bryant has had multiple insane stretches over the course of his career. In 2003, Bryant scored 30 points or more in a whopping 16 consecutive games. In the month most of those games occurred, he averaged 40.6 points.
During the 2005-06 season, Bryant had two months in which he scored over 40 points per game. In January 2006, the month he scored 81 against the Toronto Raptors, Bryant averaged 43.4 points. In April of that same year, he averaged 41.6 points while shooting nearly 51 percent overall and 41.3 percent from deep.
In March 2007, Bryant averaged 40.4 points, and this run included a five-game stretch in which he scored 65, 50, 60, 50 and 43 points. After a slight hiccup of a game with 23 points, he notched 53 points in the final game of the month.
While Durant's ongoing stretch may not be quite as gaudy as some of those from Bryant, it's just about as impressive due to the insane efficiency. While it required nearly 30 shots a game for Bryant to average over 40 points in those months, Durant is averaging his 37 points in January on just over 22 shots a game. If Durant was taking 30 shots a game the way he's playing now, it wouldn't be hard to imagine him putting up 45 a night.
Durant will look to continue his hot streak against the San Antonio Spurs on ESPN Wednesday.
Stats via Basketball-Reference.com