Kevin Durant has been grabbing all the headlines of late thanks to his insane run of scoring, and he did it again on Tuesday with a 46-point effort in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. However, Durant had company in the 40-point club on the evening: Rudy Gay.
Gay notched 41 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a 114-97 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. The 27-year-old shot 16-of-25 overall and 5-of-8 from three, but despite these crazy numbers, he's not getting as much attention because of what Durant did in Oklahoma City.
In fact, Gay's recent play in general has been overshadowed by Durant's ridiculous month. Gay has been much-maligned the past few seasons due to his poor efficiency numbers, but since being dealt to the Sacramento Kings, he has turned things around.
As a King, Gay is averaging 21.0 points while shooting 52.5 percent overall and 37.0 percent from three. In addition to his excellent shooting numbers, Gay's also averaging 3.1 assists with Sacramento, a number that would be a career-high.
Gay's numbers are even more impressive when you just look at the month of January. In 10 games, Gay's averaging 22.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He's shooting a spectacular 57.0 percent overall and a scorching 51.9 percent from three. And while the Kings are only 5-5 in January, that's an improvement over how they were playing before.
Digging deeper into the numbers, the difference between some of Gay's shooting stats in Sacramento compared to Toronto is quite stark. Since the trade, Gay is shooting 17.1 percent better in the restricted area, 24.6 percent better on shots in the non-restricted area part of the paint and 10.7 percent better from mid-range, per NBA.com's stats page. The shot distribution hasn't changed all that much, so the improvement really is quite impressive.
Gay's current stretch might not be totally sustainable, but he certainly appears to have found a rhythm playing alongside DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. While USA Today's Sam Amick says there have been no discussions about a possible extension, perhaps the Kings start thinking about it if Gay continues to play well and the team shows marked improvement over the remainder of the year.