Kevin Durant Needs 70 Points Tonight to Win Scoring Title (UPDATED)
Unless Kevin Durant erupts for 70 points in the OKC Thunder’s regular season finale tonight, his run of three consecutive scoring titles will come to an end. Carmelo Anthony—the current scoring leader in the NBA, and expected to sit out the New York’s final game—likely has nothing to worry about. Per the Oklahoman: “He has no shot,’ Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, half-jokingly, of Durant. ‘I guarantee you he won’t get it.’ Brooks, though, would know. He’s the man controlling the distribution of minutes, and he said Durant and the rest of the team’s regulars ‘are going to play very limited minutes’ in the season finale. It will bring an end to a three-year run Durant has enjoyed as the league’s scoring champion. Had he secured a fourth consecutive scoring crown, Durant would have joined Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to lead the league in scoring four straight seasons. ‘I give Kevin a lot of credit,’ Brooks said, ‘because maybe 10 games ago, if he was really focused on trying to get it four years in a row, he could have got it easily.’ Durant enters the final night of the regular season averaging 28.1 points. Anthony is averaging 28.7. But Durant has appeared in every game this season, while Anthony has missed 14 games. On total points, Durant leads Anthony 2,280 to 1,920. [...] Still, how much fun would it be to watch Durant shoot for 70? It’s been 19 years since David Robinson hung 71 on the Los Angeles Clippers on the final day of the 1993-94 season to surpass Shaquille O’Neal for the scoring crown. It’s been 35 years since David Thompson erupted for 73 points on the final day of the 1978-79 season before George Gervin wrestled away the scoring title later that night by scoring 63 points. ‘I’ll try if you want me to,’ Durant playfully told a reporter. The reporter then responded by saying he would love to see him try. ‘All right,’ Durant said. ‘I’ll try to get 70.’”
UPDATE: KD says on Instagram that he’s sitting tonight and won’t be winning the scoring title. Congrats, Melo.