Kevin Durant is on the verge of making NBA history. If the Golden State Warriors forward records 25 points tonight against the L.A. Clippers, he will become the second-youngest player ever to reach 20,000 career points. And when the inevitable happens, KD will join legends LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kobe Bryant as the only players to reach that milestone before their 30th birthday. With tonight destined to be a memorable one for the reigning NBA champion, it’s time to look back at the five best games of Kevin Durant’s career.
First 50-Point Performance (February 19, 2012)
By 2012, KD was already an established superstar in the NBA, but he was missing two things on his resume: a ring and a 50-point performance. When the Thunder lost James Harden to an injury against the Nuggets, Durant took over the game. KD and teammate Russell Westbrook scored all 13 of the team’s points in OT for the improbable win. Durant’s 51 points combined with Westbrook’s 40 were good enough to outscore seven other teams that played that night.
NBA Finals Game One (June 12, 2012)
OKC’s first NBA Finals game in history was certainly a memorable one for the franchise, even if the rest of the series was forgettable. Durant led the charge with 36 points on over 50 percent shooting. KD added 17 points in the fourth quarter to put the game on ice. That game is the one and only Finals win in the Thunder’s brief history.
In A Class Of His Own (December 1, 2013)
Durant broke record after record enroute to his MVP win during the 2013-14 season. His insane stat line from this win over the Minnesota Timberwolves looked like this: 32 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists. KD also added four steals and four blocks along the way. He became the first player in the league history to record those gaudy numbers in one game since the NBA started recording blocks and steals in 1973.
Career-High In Points (January 17, 2014)
It’s only appropriate that the 29-year-old’s most prolific performance came against his future team, the Golden State Warriors. Durant put up a career-high 54 points during OKC’s 127-121 win. He went 19-for-28 from the field and 5-for-9 from three-point range. It was his third career 50-point game, but his first that was accomplished during regulation time.
NBA Finals Game Three (June 7, 2017)
It is hard to say this was a statement game for Kevin Durant. After all, he was already an MVP, eight-time all-star, and a four-time scoring champ, but this was Durant’s signature game in the second chapter of his career. His ultra-criticized signing with the NBA favorites made him the league’s marked man in 2016-17. He responded with an Finals MVP performance that was cemented by a three-point dagger with 45 seconds remaining in game three against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Warriors went up 3-0 in the series and eventually claimed the title five days later.