In Monday’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, star Nets forward Kevin Durant passed San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan for 15th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Durant said passing Duncan was especially special because of how dominant the legendary power forward was throughout his career.
“You want to show up every day, but at some point, you have to celebrate small victories, like tonight’s. “It’s cool to celebrate that with your team,” he said after the Cavaliers’ 125-117 victory on Monday. “So, in my career, to be able to pass an all-time great, legend, someone who shifted and changed the game, it’s something that I’ll call my parents tonight and talk about and just reminisce on how we got here,” he says.
Durant is in the midst of his most productive shooting season to date.
He entered Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks averaging 30 points per game on a 67% true shooting percentage, which accounts for twos, three-pointers, and free throws. It is calculated by dividing half of a player’s points scored by the sum of field goal attempts and 47.5% of free throw attempts.
If Durant maintains his current level of efficiency, he will be the most efficient player in NBA history to average 30 points per game in a single season. The star forward, who takes pride in his efficiency, stated that this is the best shooting season of his career.
“I suppose you could say that. “I mean, I’ve never shot a percentage this high before,” he said on December 21. “I’m just thinking about the game differently than I was before. I always thought I could shoot this well, but I think it’s the quality of my shots, the looks I’m getting, and my focus on my fundamentals that keep me there.”
Durant began the season ranked 24th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. On his way to No. 15, he has passed NBA legends Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Alex English, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, Paul Pierce, and most recently Duncan.
If he continues to average 30 points per game, he will pass Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Elvin Hayes, and Moses Malone for tenth place.
He is on pace to stay in double figures for the rest of the season unless he increases his scoring to closer to 40 points per game. That is roughly what it will take to surpass Carmelo Anthony, who currently holds No. 9 but is unable to add to his total as an unrestricted free agent.
“So it’s pretty cool to do stuff like that, but [you have to] keep pushing forward,” he explained. “I know I have more work to do.”