NBA Stats

Apr 6 2014 8:31PM

Legendary Company

By Brian Martin

On Friday night in Houston, Kevin Durant scored 28 points to extend his streak of scoring at least 25 points to 40 consecutive games. That matches the run by Michael Jordan in 1987 as the longest streak of 25-point performances in the last 50 years.

On Sunday in Phoenix, Durant has a chance to pass Jordan and put another legend in his sights, as Oscar Robertson's 46-game streak is within reach. The Thunder have seven games remaining, so if Durant can keep this scoring run going through the close of the regular season, he will have the second-longest single-season streak of 25-point games ever.

Of course, if Durant does catch Robertson, he'll still be 34 games behind the incredible 80-game streak by Wilt Chamberlain back in 1961-62.

Single Season Streak of 25+ Points

RankPlayerGamesSeason
1Wilt Chamberlain801961-62
2Oscar Robertson461963-64
3Michael Jordan401986-87

Kevin Durant40 (active)2013-14

If we remove the single-season restriction, Wilt's number becomes even more daunting -- 106 straight 25-point games. If Durant is able to keep his streak alive through the end of this season, he would need to score 25 or more points in the first 59 games of next season in order to tie Wilt.

Longest Streaks of 25+ Points (no single-season restriction)

RankGamesPlayer
1106Wilt Chamberlain
247Oscar Robertson
340Michael Jordan (2 separate streaks)
340Kevin Durant (active)

But rather than looking ahead to legends in front of him, let's take a closer look at what Durant has accomplished. It's pretty safe to say that when you do something that only Michael Jordan has accomplished in the last 50 years, you've done something very special.

Think about all of the great scorers over the past 50 years. Over the weekend we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becoming the NBA's all-time leading scorer. His longest streak of scoring at least 25 points in a single season is 25 games back in 1972, per Basketball Reference. What about some of the other all-time leading scorers: Karl Malone (20 games), Kobe Bryant (19 games), Shaq (14 games), Moses (13 games), Elvin Hayes (12 games), Hakeem (9 games).

What Jordan did back in 1987 and Durant has replicated (and has a chance to exceed) in 2014

It took 27 years for someone to match the streak that Jordan put together in 1987. And now Durant has a chance to extend the modern-day mark to new heights. When something this rare occurs, the only thing we can do as fans of the game is sit back and appreciate what we are watching.

And, of course, we can break down the numbers.

Over the past 40 games, Durant has averaged 34.7 points on an efficient 51.7 percent shooting from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the 3-point line. He also did more than score as he's averaged 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists during his 40-game streak.

Per Game Numbers

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLK
Durant34.76.96.21.10.7
Jordan37.35.04.02.81.7

While Jordan averaged more points during his 40-game run (37.3), Durant has an edge in field goal percentage (51.7% to 48.1% for Jordan), rebounds (6.9 to 5.0) and assists (6.2 to 4.0). Jordan held the edge on the defensive end, averaging 2.8 steals (1.1 for Durant) and 1.7 blocks (0.7 for Durant).

With his edge in rebounds and assists, Durant holds a huge advantage in double-doubles with 13 compared to Jordan's 2. Durant also posted a pair of triple-doubles, while Jordan never reached double-digits in assists in his 40-game streak.

Shooting Breakdown

PlayerFGMFGAFG%3FGM3FGA3FG%FTMFTAFT%
Durant45688251.7%11127640.2%36542186.7%
Jordan542112748.1%73520.0%40146386.6%

A break down of their shooting numbers shows that Durant and Jordan got to their 25+ points each night in different ways. Jordan made just seven 3-pointers total over the 40-game stretch, while Durant utilized the long ball 111 times. While Durant dominated the 3-point line, Jordan held the edge at the free throw line, attempting 42 more free throws than Durant as they two shot at nearly identical percentages.

Durant may have used the three ball and shot at a higher percentage, but he did not come close to matching Jordan's volume of shots during his streak. Jordan attempted 245 more field goals than Durant during their respective 40-game streaks. And the game-by-game scoring totals reflect that, as Jordan had the two highest scoring games (61 and 58 points) and broke the 40-point plateau 15 times compared to Durant's 11.

Scoring Breakdown

PTSJordanDurant
60s10
50s22
40s129
30s1916
20s613

One more comparison to make is team success during the respective streaks. The Thunder have gone 27-13 (0.675 win percentage) during Durant's run, slightly below the Thunder's season-long 0.733 win percentage. Meanwhile, Jordan's Bulls went 22-18 (0.550) during his streak, ahead of their the 1986-87 season pace of 0.488 (40-42).

We can slice the numbers plenty of ways, they are all impressive.

The only question that remains is how long Durant can keep this run going. He has a chance to separate himself from Jordan Sunday night in Phoenix.

Durant's Streak Game-By-Game

Game DateMatchupW/LMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%REBASTSTLBLKPTS
Jan 07 2014OKC @ UTAL4514340.4123130.23117190.895754248
Jan 09 2014OKC @ DENL277180.389170.14315160.938342030
Jan 11 2014OKC vs. MILW398180.444250.40015170.8821070133
Jan 14 2014OKC @ MEML4115280.536040.000790.778441037
Jan 16 2014OKC @ HOUW428210.381270.28618200.900570036
Jan 17 2014OKC vs. GSWW4319280.679590.55611130.846462154
Jan 19 2014OKC vs. SACW3210150.667350.600790.778694230
Jan 21 2014OKC vs. PORW3717250.680670.857670.857540046
Jan 22 2014OKC @ SASW3912220.545240.50010110.909751136
Jan 25 2014OKC @ PHIW4312170.706140.250771.00014102132
Jan 27 2014OKC vs. ATLW4315250.600570.714680.750452341
Jan 29 2014OKC @ MIAW4012230.522490.444551.000752033
Jan 31 2014OKC @ BKNW3010120.833331.000331.000371026
Feb 01 2014OKC @ WASL378210.381060.00010101.000470026
Feb 03 2014OKC vs. MEMW4011210.524270.2867100.700881131
Feb 05 2014OKC vs. MINW3611200.550350.600111.000971026
Feb 07 2014OKC @ ORLL4010220.455260.333771.0005120129
Feb 09 2014OKC vs. NYKW4012220.545470.57113180.7221091241
Feb 11 2014OKC @ PORW3815280.536130.333551.0001021036
Feb 13 2014OKC @ LALW4114330.4243130.23112121.0001273043
Feb 20 2014OKC vs. MIAL3910220.455160.1677100.700832028
Feb 23 2014OKC vs. LACL4515300.500260.33310120.8333102042
Feb 26 2014OKC vs. CLEL4110160.625490.444460.6671091028
Feb 28 2014OKC vs. MEMW4212240.500380.37510101.000652137
Mar 02 2014OKC vs. CHAW388240.333060.00012121.000650028
Mar 04 2014OKC vs. PHIW3214200.700260.33312180.667932142
Mar 06 2014OKC @ PHXL4312240.500390.333771.000750034
Mar 09 2014OKC @ LALL418190.4214110.3647110.63610120027
Mar 11 2014OKC vs. HOUW4212220.545580.62513160.813540142
Mar 13 2014OKC vs. LALW308170.471250.40011111.000431329
Mar 16 2014OKC vs. DALL338200.400480.50010110.909440130
Mar 17 2014OKC @ CHIW4211210.524340.75010120.8331250035
Mar 20 2014OKC @ CLEW3512210.571380.375890.8891160135
Mar 21 2014OKC @ TORW5215320.4697120.58314190.7371271151
Mar 24 2014OKC vs. DENW3110210.476170.143670.857482027
Mar 25 2014OKC @ DALL5015270.5565110.455881.000561043
Mar 28 2014OKC vs. SACW299110.818340.750881.000162229
Mar 30 2014OKC vs. UTAW299130.692460.667991.000491031
Apr 03 2014OKC vs. SASW3911260.423040.000661.000730128
Apr 04 2014OKC @ HOUL437190.368370.42911120.9171260028
Totals20 home, 20 road27-1315494568820.5171112760.4023654210.86727724945271388
Average0.67539.211.422.10.5172.86.90.4029.110.50.8676.96.21.10.734.7

Jordan's Streak Game-By-Game

Game DateMatchupW/LMINFGMFGAFG%3PM3PA3P%FTMFTAFT%REBASTSTLBLKPTS
Dec 16 1986CHI vs. NJNW3713290.448010.00015180.833510041
Dec 18 1986CHI @ INDW3915270.556000.00011120.917360141
Dec 20 1986CHI vs. UTHL3810260.385000.000780.875472427
Dec 23 1986CHI vs. CLEW3518330.545010.000771.000562043
Dec 25 1986CHI @ NYKL4110280.357000.00010120.833356230
Dec 27 1986CHI vs. INDW3620290.690000.000441.000430244
Dec 30 1986CHI vs. GOSL4012270.444230.667570.714534031
Jan 02 1987CHI @ BOSL4013310.419010.0008100.800831034
Jan 03 1987CHI vs. DETW3816350.457020.00015170.882421047
Jan 06 1987CHI @ CLEW3813230.565000.000130.333232027
Jan 08 1987CHI vs. PORW4320340.588000.00013160.813453253
Jan 10 1987CHI vs. NJNW368240.333000.00015151.000752131
Jan 15 1987CHI vs. HOUL4317430.395140.250890.889332143
Jan 17 1987CHI vs. PHLW4417340.500000.00013140.9291064147
Jan 19 1987CHI @ INDL4111250.440111.0009110.818630032
Jan 20 1987CHI vs. MILW3911220.500000.0009100.900722131
Jan 23 1987CHI vs. CLEW3714280.500111.000661.000223035
Jan 24 1987CHI @ CLEL2711200.550000.000560.833011027
Jan 27 1987CHI vs. BOSL4013340.382020.000460.667562030
Jan 28 1987CHI @ BOSL3711230.478020.000580.625441127
Jan 30 1987CHI @ PHLL4119350.543040.00011120.917253249
Feb 01 1987CHI @ DETL4414390.359150.200991.000555038
Feb 03 1987CHI vs. WASW4312280.429010.000890.889660232
Feb 05 1987CHI @ MILL4412240.500000.00012130.923752236
Feb 10 1987CHI vs. PHLW4111220.500000.000790.778343129
Feb 13 1987CHI vs. SEAW4114280.500000.00017190.895362245
Feb 14 1987CHI @ NYKW3715240.625010.000350.600213333
Feb 16 1987CHI vs. SACL4813300.433010.00017180.944715443
Feb 20 1987CHI vs. LALL4011270.407000.00011120.917255233
Feb 22 1987CHI vs. CLEW3916290.552000.00011150.733468543
Feb 24 1987CHI vs. ATLW4210220.455000.00014180.7781225534
Feb 26 1987CHI vs. NJNW3716250.640000.00026270.963833258
Feb 28 1987CHI vs. MILW3811280.393010.00015170.882623137
Mar 01 1987CHI @ NJNL3910230.435010.00010120.833443230
Mar 03 1987CHI vs. LACW2811170.647000.000890.889313230
Mar 04 1987CHI @ DETW4322390.564000.00017180.944733361
Mar 06 1987CHI vs. NYKL3910240.417000.000790.778858327
Mar 08 1987CHI vs. DALW4411280.393010.00011120.917645333
Mar 09 1987CHI @ ATLL4212260.462010.0007100.700783131
Mar 11 1987CHI @ PHLL4419340.559111.00010110.909872449
Totals25 home, 15 road22-18158354211270.4817350.2004014630.866201159112651492
Average0.5539.57513.5528.1750.4810.1750.8750.20010.02511.5750.8665.0253.9752.81.72537.3