Kevin Durant has become the first NBA player to match Michael Jordan’s record of 13 consecutive games with 25+ points to open a regular season. The record, which was set by Jordan during the 1988-1989 season, was reached by Durant during the Brooklyn Nets’ Sunday night matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers.
While the two-time NBA champion finished the game with 31 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists, the Nets still lost 116-103, falling to 6-8 in the season. Durant, 34, needs three more consecutive 25+ point games to tie MJ’s record of 16 consecutive games with at least 25 points to open an NBA season and a fourth to eclipse the mark.
Jordan led the NBA in scoring during the league’s 1988-1989 regular season, averaging 32.5 ppg on 53.8% shooting from the field, along with 8 rpg and 8 apg. During the 1989 playoffs, the 6-time NBA champion hit his famed shot over Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Craig Ehlo at the buzzer in the fifth and deciding game of their first round series. After defeating the New York Knicks in the second round, the Bulls fell to eventual NBA champs the Detroit Pistons in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
While Durant and the Nets entered the 2022-2023 NBA season among the league’s favorites to reach the NBA Finals, off-court controversies and personnel changes have since shifted those odds. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is currently serving a five-game suspension stemming from the fallout following his social media post promoting n film with anti-semitic rhetoric. The Nets also recently fired their former head coach Steve Nash, with Jacque Vaughn taking over as interim head coach.
The Nets were reportedly in talks to hire suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka prior to Vaughn’s hire, however, the organization ultimately passed on Udoka as a candidate for the head coaching position.