In other news, water is wet.
If it seems like the Oklahoma City Thunder sensation puts up similar numbers every single night, that's because he does, at least recently. Tuesday's performance marks the 29th consecutive time Durant has scored at least 25 points in a game.
The last time he failed to reach the mark was a Jan. 5 game against the Boston Celtics, when he only scored 21 in a 23-point win for the Thunder.
How rare is a scoring streak of this length? According to Basketball-Reference, it has only been matched one other time in the past 25 years...by Durant himself, from 2009 to 2010.
Here are the players who have scored at least 25 points in at least 20 consecutive games since the 1988-89 season:
- Durant: 29 straight games (2014)
- Durant: 29 straight games (2009-10)
- Allen Iverson: 27 straight games (2001)
- LeBron James: 21 straight games (2008)
- Michael Jordan: 21 straight games (1990-91)
- Tracy McGrady: 20 straight games (2003)
- Karl Malone: 20 straight games (1990)
There isn't a bad player in that group.
The last player with a scoring streak longer than Durant's was Jordan, who scored at least 25 in 40 straight games in 1988.
If Durant can keep up this pace, he has an outside chance of topping the legendary Oscar Robertson for the longest streak in 50 years:
- Robertson: 47 games (1963-64)
- Jordan: 40 games (1988)
- Jordan: 40 games (1986-87)
- Wilt Chamberlain: 35 (1964)
- Spencer Haywood: 32 (1975)
- Bob McAdoo: 32 (1973)
With the exception of Haywood, every one of those players is in the Hall of Fame.
For what it's worth, Durant has never seemed terribly interesting in these scoring streaks. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck learned as much when he interviewed Durant after his 12-game stretch of 30-point games ended on Jan. 31 against the Brooklyn Nets:
“To be honest, I didn’t care at all,” Durant said of his streak ending. “I just play the game, just on feel, just on instincts.”
He added, earnestly, and more than once, “I’m glad it’s over with.”
Among today’s NBA superstars, perhaps only Durant could make a statement like that with such sincerity. For all of his pyrotechnics over the last three weeks—the 40-point nights, the 54-point game, the buzzer beaters—Durant has treated the streak with a sheepish chagrin, as if acknowledging the gaudy totals might sound impolite.
Even if Kevin Durant is putting up these awe-inspiring numbers almost despite himself, there isn't a defender in the league who can stop him at the moment. He might just stretch out this streak through the end of the season.
*All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
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