Nets’ Kevin Durant explodes for season-high 51 points vs. Pistons

The mantle for the NBA’s best scorer is always up for debate, but Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant sent a timely reminder that he’s the elite bucket getter in the league, with a signature performance against the Detroit Pistons. 

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Playing without James Harden, Joe Harris, and Paul Millsap, the Nets came into Detroit shorthanded, but thanks to Durant’s explosive scoring, they walked away with a 116-104 win to move to 19-8 on the season. 

Durant piled up a season-high 51 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal on an efficient 16-of-31 from the field, 5-of-10 from beyond the arc and 14-of-15 at the free throw line.

“We [were] missing James and we missing Paul Millsap, so I feel like I had to pick up the scoring a little bit more, Durant said postgame.

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Let’s dive into some of the numbers behind Durant’s scorching night in Detroit.

1: Highest score of the season

Durant’s 51 fell just short of his career-high 54 points which he set against the Golden State Warriors in 2014  while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

His 51 tonight, however, set the benchmark for the 2021-22 season, eclipsing the previous highest score of the season, set by Stephen Curry in November.

10: 50-point games in Nets franchise history

Durant’s 51-point performance is just the 10th 50-point game in Nets franchise history and ties Caris LeVert for the fifth-highest score all-time. 

Deron Williams still holds the record for the most points scored in a Nets uniform with 57 points in 2012.

7: Durant’s seventh 50-point game

The four-time scoring champion now has seven 50-point games in his career, with tonight’s his first 50-ball in a Nets uniform and his first since 2018.

Among active players, Durant ranks fifth all-time, behind Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, LeBron James and his Nets teammate James Harden who has nearly double the amount of 50-point games as second place.

Kyrie Irving sits tied for eighth all-time, making it three payers from the Nets currently sitting in the top 10 among active players. 

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