OKLAHOMA CITY — Almost two weeks ago, Kevin Durant said he wanted to shoot less to help his team more. It’s a good thing the Oklahoma City forward didn’t listen to his own advice.
Durant scored a new career high 54 points in leading the Thunder past the Golden State Warriors 127-121 Friday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“As the leader, my main objective is to serve my teammates,” Durant said. “Some nights I have to put it up, I have to score. Some nights I have to do other things. I just tried to do the best I can to lead the team and lead us to victory.”
Durant took 39 points into the fourth quarter with his team leading by 10. He then put on a clinic of off balance 3-pointers and acrobatic mid-range jumpers.
The Warriors tried several players on him and doubling him them moment he touched the ball. Nothing worked. Durant scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
“He wasn’t going too crazy in the first half,” Warriors guard Andre Iguodala said. “But late in the third, when he made those two shots and got to the line, it kind of carried over into the fourth. He had a seven-, eight-minute span where everything was going in for him. By the time we doubled him on the catch, it was too late.”
Durant reached his total on 19-for-28 shooting from the field and 11-for-13 from the free throw line. It was his sixth straight game of at least 30 points and third game of more than 40 in January.
“He’s a special talent,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “He’s a superstar basketball player. All-time great. He made shots.”
Oklahoma City (30-10) forward Serge Ibaka added 21 points and eight rebounds, and guard Reggie Jackson chipped in with 14 points and six assists.