Brighter star: Thunder's Durant reaches new highs
BY Staff Reports
Saturday, February 02, 2013
2/02/13 at 6:58 AM
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Kevin Durant's offensive prowess is well-known around the NBA. But this season, and particularly in the month of January, Durant has taken his game to another level.
From his career-best 52 points on Jan. 18, to his increased offensive efficiency, the three-time reigning scoring champ is getting even better.
Below is a look at how he's improved on greatness.
He's in elite company
Kevin Durant has won the past three scoring titles. A win this season puts him in territory reached by only two others.
Consecutive Scoring Titles
7 Michael Jordan (1986-93)
Wilt Chamberlain (1959-66)
3 Kevin Durant (2009-12)
Michael Jordan (1995-98)
George Gervin (1997-80)
Bob McAdoo (1973-76)
Neil Johnston (1952-55)
George Mikan (1948-51)
Kevin Durant's scoring average of 31.6 in January of this season makes it his best scoring month since January 2010. His shooting percentage of 52.9 is his best since February 2009*.
Below is a look at his game-by-game scoring in January.
* Minimum 10 games played in a month
The 52-point game
Durant set a new career high with 52 points in an overtime win at Dallas. He made all 21 of his free-throw attempts, in addition to grabbing 9 rebounds. It was the second-best free-throw shooting game in NBA history.
The scoring race
A look at the NBA scoring race, through Friday's games.
1. Kevin Durant, Thunder 29.6
2. Carmelo Anthony , Knicks 29.0
3. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers 27.9
Durant is on pace to become just the second player in NBA history (Larry Bird) to average 28-plus points while shooting better than 50 percent from the field, 90 percent from the free-throw line and 40 percent from the 3-point line.
Original Print Headline: Brighter Star
By the numbers
51.9|| Durant’s shooting percentage
this season. His previous
season best was 49.6
4.5||Durant’s assists per game.
His previous high (last
18.4||Shots attempted per game,
the lowest since his rookie
91.0||Durant’s free-throw shooting
percentage, first in the
league and a career-best.|
Kevin Durant. Associated Press photo
Larry Bird. Associated Press photo