Stats & Info: Kevin Durant

"Wow Stats" for every NBA Playoff series

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
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David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Durant has the fourth-highest postseason scoring average in NBA history.
The NBA playoffs get underway on Saturday. Before they do, here’s a stat you should know on each of the eight first-round series.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs (8) Dallas Mavericks

• 29: The Spurs and Mavericks have played 29 playoff games dating back to the 2000-01 season, one behind the Spurs and Lakers for the most playoff games between two teams in that time. Dallas and San Antonio are separated by just 33 points over those 29 meetings, just over one point per game.

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs (7) Memphis Grizzlies
• 28.6: Kevin Durant is averaging 28.6 points per game in his playoff career. In NBA history, the only players with a higher playoff scoring average are Michael Jordan (33.4), Allen Iverson (29.7) and Jerry West (29.1).

(3) Los Angeles Clippers vs (6) Golden State Warriors
• 484: The “Splash Brothers”, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, have combined for 484 3-pointers this season, the most by a pair of teammates in a single NBA season. Whose record did they break? Their own (483 last season).

(4) Houston Rockets vs (5) Portland Trail Blazers
• 45.6: The Blazers allowed 45.6 points in the paint per game this season, the worst of any playoff team. Houston’s Dwight Howard averaged 13.1 paint points per game this season, fifth-most in the league.

(1) Indiana Pacers vs (8) Atlanta Hawks
• .480: Both teams went 12-13 in their final 25 games for a .480 winning percentage. Only two teams in NBA history were under .500 in their final 25 games and went on to win the NBA championship: the 1957-58 Hawks and 1994-95 Rockets.

(2) Miami Heat vs (7) Charlotte Bobcats
• 15: The Heat and Bobcats have met 15 times since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces before the 2010-11 season. Miami has won all 15. In that same time, Miami is 14-0 against the Raptors, a possible opponent in the next round.

(3) Toronto Raptors vs (6) Brooklyn Nets
• 2 and 3: On the morning of January 1st, the Raptors and Nets both had a losing record. Since then, however, they’ve been two of the Eastern Conference’s best. The Nets have the second-best win percentage since January 1 (.667), the Raptors are third (.642).

(4) Chicago Bulls vs (5) Washington Wizards
• 7.8: Nobody dominated the ball like John Wall this season. He averaged 7.8 minutes of possession per game, most in the league. That’s roughly 16 percent of a regulation game.

Picking the most clutch in NBA playoffs

April, 18, 2014
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With the NBA playoffs starting Saturday, we’re bound to see tight games and pressure-packed situations. The question then becomes, whose hands do you want the ball in?

The top chart above shows each playoff team’s leader in clutch-time usage percentage this season, along with his true shooting percentage (which weighs three-point field goals greater and accounts for free throw shooting). Clutch-time is defined as situations in which the game is within five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.

The bottom chart shows each of those 16 players’ overall Player Efficiency Rating along with his PER in clutch-time situations.

Kevin Durant less efficient
Kevin Durant
Durant
First, no playoff team leans more on a player in clutch time than the Oklahoma City Thunder do with Kevin Durant. He’s the only one of the 16 who has a clutch-time usage percentage over 40 percent, and Durant’s is nearing 46 percent. However, his efficiency numbers drop off in crunch-time, as his PER drops from nearly 30 in all situations to just over 25 in crunch-time. That's still above league average, but it's below average among these 16 "go-to" guys.

His main opponent for league MVP, LeBron James, increases his already-high efficiency numbers in crunch-time, despite the Miami Heat leaning on him heavily.

Harden: Mister Clutch?
James Harden
Harden
Watch out for the Houston Rockets and James Harden. Harden has the highest clutch-time efficiency rating of the 16 players, with the second-highest usage rate. Mike Conley also ups his performance in crunch-time, which could put the Thunder on upset alert if the Memphis Grizzlies point guard gets hot late in their series.

Sticking with the Western Conference, Stephen Curry has hit all 31 of his crunch-time free throws this year, but has shot just 28 percent from 3-point range for the Golden State Warriors in those situations.

Who could struggle
Despite the Brooklyn Nets second-half surge, their clutch-time leader, Joe Johnson, is the worst of the 16 team leaders in terms of PER. LaMarcus Aldridge has also struggled in crunch-time for the Portland Trail Blazers, with an effective field goal percentage of 33 percent.

One of the main takeaways is that the crunch-time leader for the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks is not former NBA season and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, but instead Monta Ellis, who has taken possessions at a slightly-higher rate than Nowitzki.

Two of the West's best face off in L.A.

April, 9, 2014
Apr 9
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Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Durant's streak might be over, but he will look to get the best of the Clippers Wednesday night.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will be in L.A. to face the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. These teams have been two of the NBA's best this season, but lately they have been heading in different directions.

The Clippers are 18-3 over their past 21 games, outscoring opponents by 10.6 points per game. Oklahoma City, on the other hand, entered the All-Star break at 43-12 but is 13-9 since.

The Thunder have lost three of their past four road games, whereas the Clippers have won nine of their past 10 home games.

The streak is over, but still much to be done
Kevin Durant’s streak of scoring at least 25 points ended Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings. The 41-game streak is the third-longest single-season streak in NBA history.

But there is still plenty for Durant to accomplish this season.

He is averaging 32.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists. Durant is seeking to become the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 32 points, 7 boards and 5 assists in a single season.

Leading Carmelo Anthony by 4.5 points per game, Durant is a virtual lock to become the fifth player in NBA history to win at least four scoring titles. His per-game lead over Anthony would be the third-largest gap between first and second in scoring average dating to 1969-70.

A new vibe in L.A.
The Clippers’ first season in Los Angeles was 1984-85. From that point through the 2010-11 season, they posted a .349 win percentage -- worst in the league during that span.

Since trading for Chris Paul, they have won nearly 67 percent of their games, the fourth-best mark in the NBA. And this season is no different.

Last year, the Clippers set a franchise record with 56 wins. They are at 55 wins with four games to play this season.

Thunder cooling off?
A main reason for the drop-off from the Thunder's pre-All-Star pace has been Oklahoma City's defensive struggles.

The Thunder allowed 99.3 points per 100 possessions before the break (third best), but have yielded 104.6 since (14th). Opponents are cashing in at the 3-point line, making 9.7 per game on an efficient 39.5 percent shooting, both of which rank second highest in the league during that span.

In losses, the defense has failed Oklahoma City even more. The Thunder are allowing 116.2 points per game in losses since the All-Star break.

Tuesday night, the Thunder beat the Kings, but that doesn't necessarily bode well for them. Oklahoma City is 7-6 on zero days' rest this season.

Series matchup
The Clippers are 2-1 against the Thunder this season, but Durant has had his way with L.A.

Durant is averaging 34.3 points and 9.3 assists in the three games against the Clippers this season. He has scored 30 or more points in five of the past six meetings between the teams.

Keys to victory: Thunder 106, Rockets 98

March, 11, 2014
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What were the keys to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 106-98 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night?

Durant’s big game
Kevin Durant scored 42 points to pace the Thunder. Durant now has 11 40-point games this season. No one else in the NBA has more than five, so Durant has more than twice as many 40-point games as any other player.

The last time an NBA player finished the season with more than twice as many 40-point games as anyone else was Tracy McGrady, who had eight in 2003-04, when no one else had more than three.

Durant scored 21 of his 42 points on pull-up jump shots Tuesday, including 10 of his 12 fourth-quarter points. Durant entered the game averaging 7.9 points per game on pull-up shots, tied with teammate Russell Westbrook for fourth in the league, according to NBA player-tracking data.

Durant now has a streak of 29 straight games with at least 25 points. The only player with a longer streak in the past 30 seasons is Michael Jordan, who had a 40-game streak in the 1986-87 season.

Howard shut down again
Dwight Howard was held to nine points, thanks largely to Steven Adams. Howard was 0-for-5 when defended by Adams. Howard has three games this season in which he has played at least 25 minutes and scored fewer than 10 points. Two have come against the Thunder.

Howard is averaging 9.7 points and 9.0 rebounds on 34 percent shooting against the Thunder this season. He’s averaging 19.1 points and 12.6 rebounds on 60 percent shooting against everyone else.

Howard hasn’t helped himself at the free throw line. He’s 3-for-15 in three games against the Thunder after going 1-for-6 on Tuesday.

Westbrook shakes off rough start
Westbrook committed three of his four turnovers in the first quarter, but recovered to have a big game. Westbrook had 20 points, including 11 in transition, with five assists and one turnover in the last three quarters.

Lakers show Thunder 18-point lead not safe

March, 9, 2014
Mar 9
8:49
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Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty ImagesJodie Meeks scored a career-high 42 points against the Thunder on Sunday in Los Angeles.
For the first time in nearly two years, the Oklahoma City Thunder wasted an 18-point lead.

Behind Jodie Meeks’ career-high 42 points, the Los Angeles Lakers dug out of a big first-half hole and beat the Thunder 114-110 on Sunday. The last time the Thunder had squandered an 18-point lead was April 22, 2012 – also against the Lakers, also in Los Angeles.

After Oklahoma City took a 46-28 lead with 7:39 left in the second quarter, the Lakers went on a 59-31 run through the end of the third quarter.

Quiet triple-double
Conspicuous by his absence during the Lakers’ run was Kevin Durant. He was 2-of-5 shooting for seven points from the Thunder’s high-water mark to the end of the third quarter, which ended with the Lakers leading 87-75.

Still, Durant finished with 27 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. It was his third triple-double this season, which equals the number he had in his first six seasons combined.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the first time that the team with a conference’s worst record beat the team with that conference’s best record in March or later since April 18, 2001. In that instance, the Chicago Bulls (14-67) defeated the Philadelphia 76ers (56-25) in the final game of the season. NBA MVP Allen Iverson did not play.

Meeks in great company
The Lakers scored 15 points in transition – all by Meeks, who averaged 4.5 transition points entering the game. Meeks (11-of-18 from the field, 14-of-14 from the free-throw line) is the fourth Lakers player since the merger (1976-77) to score 40 or more points while shooting at least 10 free throws without a miss. The others are Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Thunder entered Sunday’s game shooting 42.3 percent in isolation situations, the third-best percentage in the NBA. On Sunday, the Thunder struggled in isolation, shooting 14 percent (1-of-7).

The Thunder hadn't allowed a 40-point scorer in the first 61 games of the season. In the last two games, Gerald Green of Phoenix and Meeks each topped 40. The last time the Thunder/SuperSonics franchise allowed 40 points to players in back-to-back games was December 2000: Antawn Jamison of Golden State (51) and Jerry Stackhouse of Detroit (41).

Clippers run away from Thunder

February, 23, 2014
Feb 23
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Kevin Durant did something that he had never done in his career before today, but it was not enough as the Clippers beat the Thunder 125-117 in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon.

The Clippers handed the Thunder their second straight home loss, just the second time that OKC has lost consecutive games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena this season.

Los Angeles avoided its third straight loss and still has not lost three games in a row this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the furthest into any season that the Braves/Clippers franchise has gone without a three-game losing streak.

What were the keys to the Clippers second win in their last six games against the Thunder?

Clippers on the run
The Clippers were at their best when pushing the pace, tying a season-high with 34 fastbreak points, including 27 in the first half. They made 13 of 14 shots on the break, turning it over just once. The Clippers are averaging 17.8 fastbreak points per game, third-most in the league.

It was the most fastbreak points the Thunder have allowed in more than five years, since the Phoenix Suns had 37 against them on February 20, 2009.

Paul dishes to Crawford, Barnes
Chris Paul created 30 points off 12 assists Sunday. According to NBA.com player-tracking data, Paul leads the NBA creating 25.1 points per game.

The main beneficiaries from his assists were Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes who knocked down five shots apiece.

Crawford and Barnes combined for 33 points from behind the arc Sunday, finding particular success when those shots were guarded. Crawford shot 5 of 8 and Barnes shot 4 of 5. Entering the game, the duo had shot a combined 33.5 percent on three-pointers.

A first for Durant
Durant finished the game with 42 points and 10 assists, the first time he’s ever reach those totals in a game.

He is just the second player in Thunder/Sonics history with a 40-10 game, joining Gary Payton, who had two such games according to Elias.

Durant now has nine 40-point games this season. No other player even has five of those.

Durant’s aggressiveness keyed his scoring outburst, driving to the basket 11 times while scoring 15 of his 40 points on those drives. Entering the game, Durant was averaging only six drive points on 5.7 drives per game.

Thunder go cold from mid-range
The Thunder made only 7 of 24 attempts from the mid-range area, tied for their third-worst percentage in a game this season. The Thunder lead the league in mid-range shooting this season, making 44 percent of their shots.

Los Angeles has been effective in limiting the Thunder's mid-range accuracy this season, as two of the Thunder’s four worst shooting games from this area have come against the Clippers.

Top things to know: Clippers at Thunder

February, 23, 2014
Feb 23
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Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty ImagesBlake Griffin's improved jump shot is helping him put together the best offensive season of his career.
The Los Angeles Clippers visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday (ABC, 1 p.m. ET). Here are the top things you need to know.

Blake Griffin has posted a higher scoring average than Kevin Durant this month, averaging 33.9 PPG in February to Durant’s 32.5 (only Kevin Love is averaging more than Griffin this month).

In fact, his scoring average has improved each month this season, from 21.5 PPG in October/November. Griffin has scored nine straight 25-point games, the longest such streak of his career.

Overshadowed by Durant and LeBron James, Griffin is quietly having an MVP-caliber season and has become more than just a dunker. One of the primary reasons is his improved jump shot.

Season series
Durant is averaging 30.5 points, 9.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds in two games against the Clippers this season. He’s averaging 32.6 points over his last five games against the Clippers.

• Westbrook is averaging 15.5 points on 38.7 percent shooting against the Clippers this season.

• Serge Ibaka is averaging 15.0 points on 14-of-16 shooting against the Clippers this season. But he’s totaled only 3.5 rebounds in those games, down from his season average of 8.7.

• Griffin is averaging 24.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists against the Thunder this season.

• Chris Paul is averaging 15.5 points and 14.0 assists against OKC this season.

Season notes
Both teams are in the top 11 in points scored and allowed per 100 possessions, but the Thunder have been the much better rebounding team.

• Durant has scored 25 points in 21 straight games, the second-longest streak of his career (29 straight in 2009-10).

• DeAndre Jordan is posting career highs in points (9.9), rebounds (14.0) and blocks (2.4) this season. He’s recorded double-digit rebounds in 33 of his past 34 games.

• Jamal Crawford is averaging 23.6 points over his last 16 games, nearly a seven-point increase over his scoring average through the first 40 games of the season.

Point guard battle
The Thunder welcomed Russell Westbrook back to the lineup on Thursday. They’re 22-8 (.733) without him and 21-5 with him (.808) this season. The Clippers, on the other hand, have a lower win percentage with Chris Paul in the lineup (.632) than without him (.684).

Paul is 10-7 in his career against Westbrook, and he’s gotten the better of him statistically, averaging more points and assists and fewer turnovers in head-to-head meetings.

Rolling Thunder
At 43-13, OKC has a league-best .768 win percentage. The only season the franchise posted a better mark came in 1995-96, when the Seattle SuperSonics had a .780 win percentage.

• The Thunder posted a .732 win percentage last season. Should they increase their win percentage again this season, it would be the sixth consecutive season they have done so. The Timberwolves hold the NBA record for most consecutive seasons with a win percentage increase (six seasons spanning 1991-92 through 1997-98, but their highest during that span was .549).

Keys to victory: Heat 103, Thunder 81

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
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LeBron James was perfect in the paint in a near-perfect Heat win.
The Miami Heat may have left their meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder a little bloody, but the Thunder were the team that got battered from a basketball perspective.

The Heat routed the Thunder 103-81 to finish its six-game road trip with a 5-1 mark.

It was the second-biggest margin of victory for LeBron James in a head-to-head matchup with Kevin Durant (he had scored a 35-point win against Durant in the 2008-09 season) and the third-largest margin of defeat in a home game for the Thunder since they moved to Oklahoma City.

The Heat’s Big 3 combined for a season-high 81 points. It was the third time this season that James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored at least 20 points in the same game. Wade finished with his first 20-point, 10-assist game since Nov. 25 against the Suns.

LeBron’s Fast Start
James scored the first 12 points of the game for the Heat. Elias noted that was the most consecutive points he has scored to start a game in his career.

His previous high was the first nine points for the Cavaliers against the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 5, 2005 .

James was 8-for-10 in the first quarter, with both of his misses coming from 3-point range. He scored a season high 21 first-half points.

James finished 11-for-11 in the paint, his most in the lane without a miss in any game in his career.

James was 6-for-8 when guarded by Durant, with his average shot coming from 16 feet away. He was 2-for-6 when guarded by Durant in the first meeting between the teams.

James is now 14-4 in head-to-head meetings with Durant, including postseason.

Durant shut down by Battier
Durant did score 28 points, but most of them came with the Thunder well behind. When the Heat needed to stop Durant, Shane Battier did the job.

Durant was 1-for-9 from the field with four points and four turnovers when Battier was his primary defender. Durant was 9-for-13 for 25 points and had one turnover in all other situations.

Durant was 1-for-6 from 3-point range on a day when his team went 2-for-20. That tied the second-worst shooting percentage for any team with at least that many 3-point attempts in a game this season.

Heat own the running game
The Heat scored only eight transition points on nine transition opportunities in the first meeting with the Thunder on Jan. 29.

They scored 20 points on 16 transition opportunities on Thursday night.

Top stats to know: Heat at Thunder

February, 20, 2014
Feb 20
1:08
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Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsRussell Westbrook is close to rejoining Kevin Durant in the Thunder lineup

Russell Westbrook is expected to return Thursday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Miami Heat for the second time this season. The Thunder defeated the Heat 112-95 January 29 without the help of Westbrook, and his return would only complicate matters more for the Heat.

Westbrook's impact

The Thunder initially struggled when Westbrook went down earlier this season. In the team’s first 10 games without him starting December 27, the Thunder went 5-5 and averaged 100.4 points per game.

The Thunder won 10 straight following that 5-5 stretch and have won 15 of the last 17 games en route to an NBA best 43-12 (.782) record.

Despite the recent hot streak, Westbrook will be a welcome sight in the lineup. The Thunder have gone 21-4 (.840) this season with Westbrook active, and have averaged 5.5 more points per game when he plays.

Although the Thunder score more with Westbrook in the lineup, his teammate Kevin Durant does not.

Durant has averaged 34.0 points per game this season with Westbrook out compared to 28.6 points per game with Westbrook in the lineup. It might be a dip for Durant, but his scoring average with Westbrook would still lead the NBA this season.

Durant vs James

LeBron James is 13-4 in his career in games against Kevin Durant (including playoffs) but the two have nearly gone point-for-point in their matchups.

Durant has averaged only 0.7 points per game more than James when going head-to-head in the regular season. When the two met earlier this season James scored 34 points to Durant’s 33.

James was the primary defender on Durant for most of the first matchup this season. Although Durant’s average shot was 20.8 feet away from the basket when guarded by James in the game, he still managed to shoot 9 of 17 (52.9 percent) with 23 points on those possessions.

Durant didn’t guard James as frequently on the other end of the floor but was effective when he did. James shot 2 of 6 and scored eight points total against Durant with an average shot 18.3 feet from the basket. When James was guarded by anyone else, he went 10 of 14 with 26 points and an average shot distance of 10.4 feet.

Road warriors

The trip to Oklahoma City is the last of a six-game road trip for the Heat. The Heat have gone 4-1 on the trip so far, with the only loss coming against the Utah Jazz. The Jazz were the only team on the trip with a record outside the top ten in the NBA.

James has been leading the charge for the Heat over the stretch, averaging 31.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 7.0 assists the last five games.

If the Thunder are able to beat the Heat again, they will be the third team in the “Big 3” era to sweep the Heat in a season series with at least two games played. The previous two, the 2010-11 Mavericks and the 2010-11 Bulls, each met the Heat in the playoffs that year.

Big questions for the NBA's second half

February, 17, 2014
Feb 17
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With the NBA at the All-Star break, big questions loom for the second half of the season.

We dive into some of those topics and provide possible answers:

Is the Heat defense strong enough to win another title?
Heat opponents have an effective field goal percentage (which takes into account the added value of a 3-pointer) of 51.6% this season, tied for the 2nd-worst in the league.

Since the three-point line was adopted (1979-80), no team that has allowed an effective field goal percentage of 50% or higher and gone on to win the title that season (267 teams).

The Heat are allowing 103.2 points per 100 possessions, tied for 14th in the NBA. Although results from last season suggest they could turn it around.

Their defensive efficiency ranked 11th in the NBA at the All-Star break last season, but 4th after the All-Star Break.

Are the Blazers serious contenders in the West?
Portland has lost seven of its last eight games against teams at or above .500 after starting the season 12-5 against such teams.

Their play down the stretch has been a complete turnaround from earlier in the season.

Each of their last three losses were decided by five or fewer points. They are 3-5 in such games in the new year after starting 8-3.

Damian Lillard had three game-winning shots in the final 10 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime in the first three months of the season, most in the NBA. Since then he and the Blazers have tailed off in clutch moments (defined as the final five minutes, score within five points of 4th Qtr/OT).

Will Carmelo have enough in the tank to get the Knicks into the postseason?
Carmelo Anthony is averaging a career-high 38.8 minutes per game this season.
Carmelo Anthony
Anthony
That is perhaps one reason why he is shooting a career-low 35.7 percent in the 4th quarter or overtime this season.

He is 0-of-8 on game-tying or go-ahead field goal attempts in the final 10 seconds of the 4th quarter or overtime this season, and 0-of-12 over the last two seasons. He was 5-of-10 on such shots in his first two seasons with the Knicks.

New York has suffered as a result. They are 1-6 in games decided by one possession (final score within three points) this season.

Is Durant really the NBA’s best closer and the MVP favorite?
LeBron James is shooting 52.2 percent in clutch time this season, compared with Durant’s 34.2 percent in those situations.

James has the best field goal percentage among 20 players with at least 50 field goal attempts in clutch time, and the next-closest player is shooting 42.9 percent (Lillard).

Will Dwight Howard be dominant enough for a Rockets title run?
The Rockets are on a seven-game win streak, the longest active streak in the NBA,
Dwight Howard
Howard
including wins against the Spurs, Suns and Mavericks. Dwight Howard is averaging 24.5 points per game on 60.0 percent shooting during the streak.

The Rockets are outscoring opponents by 15.3 points per 100 possessions with Dwight Howard on the court in those 7 games, and have been outscored by 4.5 points per 100 possessions with him off.

However, Dwight’s season has been far from eye popping. His player efficiency rating (PER) of 21.7 ranks 10th among current starting power forwards and centers this season.

His PER was fourth in the NBA (25.4), and best among power forwards and centers when the Magic made the NBA Finals in 2008-09.

Dwight Howard may have been given a slight pass last season given the drama in L.A. and coming off back surgery, but his overall performance has not improved much in Houston. He is averaging 1.7 more points per game, but with roughly the same field goal percentage, rebounds and blocks per game as last season.

--Contributions from John Parolin, Will Cohen, Sunny Saini, Steve Martinez & Doug Clawson

Records shattered in NBA All-Star Game

February, 17, 2014
Feb 17
12:24
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Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty ImagesKyrie Irving was named NBA All-Star Game MVP.
If you like offense, dunks and 3-pointers, and you hate defense, then you loved the 2014 NBA All-Star Game.

This year's version of the All-Star Game set offensive record upon record. Most notably, the teams combined for 318 points, shattering the previous record of 303 set in 1987.

The Eastern Conference won the game, snapping a three-game losing streak for the Western Conference. A win for the West would've been the first four-game win streak in All-Star Game history.

The East overcame an 18-point deficit, ending the game on a 10-0 run.

The East scored 163 points, setting a new record for most points in an All-Star Game. The previous record was 155 by the West in 2003, a game that went to two overtimes. The West tied the previous record with 155 points, despite the loss.

Kyrie Irving won the All-Star Game MVP award, joining LeBron James (twice) as the only Cleveland Cavaliers players to win that honor. Irving finished with 31 points on 14-of-17 shooting and 14 assists. He was 11-for-11 inside the 3-point arc.

Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin each scored a game-high 38 points, tying Rick Barry for the third-most points in an All-Star Game. Wilt Chamberlain scored 42 in 1962 and Michael Jordan scored 40 in 1988.

Griffin set the record for most field goals in an All-Star Game with 19. The previous record was 17 by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962, Michael Jordan in 1988 and Kevin Garnett in 2003. Ten of Griffin's 19 field goals were dunks.

The game was full of 3-point attempts. The teams combined for 100 3-point attempts, destroying the previous record of 71 set last year. The West set a single-team record for 3-point attempts with 56, easily besting the previous record of 39 by the East last year. The West set a new record for most 3-pointers made with 16.

The 3-point barrage was led by Carmelo Anthony, whose eight 3-pointers broke the previous record of six by Mark Price in 1993 and LeBron James in 2012.


Top stats to know: NBA All-Star Weekend

February, 14, 2014
Feb 14
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This weekend marks the 63rd NBA All-Star Game, with the league’s top players gathering in New Orleans for an entertaining basketball weekend.

The Eastern Conference leads the all-time series 36-26, but the West has won three straight games (Chris Paul won his MVP last year). The current three-game win streak is tied for the West’s longest all-time (also won three straight spanning 2002-04).

What else should you know about All-Star Weekend?

James & Durant
LeBron James was the leading overall vote-getter with 1,416,419 votes, followed closely by Kevin Durant, who finished with 1,396,294.

Durant has scored 30 or more points in three straight All-Star games, the longest 30-point streak in All-Star Game history.

His career scoring average of 28.8 points per game in the All-Star game is currently the best all-time. James ranks second at 25.1 points.

James has already scored the fifth-most career points in All-Star Game history.

The Big 3
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are the fourth trio of teammates in NBA history to be selected to four straight All-Star games.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the last trio to do so was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy from 1985-86 to 1988-89. The trio with the most consecutive All-Star selections was John Havlicek, Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White, with six.

Another type of ‘Big 3’
Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard were each selected to the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest. It’s the first time since 1988 in which three All-Stars will compete in both the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest (Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler).

Lillard is scheduled to participate in five events and would be the first player to do so dating back to 2003 (the first year of the Skills Competition).

Lillard has already broken the record for most 3-point field goals made over a player’s first two seasons in the NBA and will try to upend defending 3-point champ Kyrie Irving.

Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the first pair of Trail Blazers teammates to be selected to the All-Star Game since 1993-94 (Drexler and Clifford Robinson).

No Kobe, No Lakers
This is the first time since 1996 that a Los Angeles Lakers player won’t play in the All-Star game (Kobe Bryant was selected but is out with a knee injury).

Bryant’s replacement, Anthony Davis, is averaging 20.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks this season. The last player to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a single season was Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-00.

But a former Laker will be there
When Dwight Howard takes the court this All-Star game, he'll become the first player in NBA history to play in three straight All-Star games, each representing a different team (2011-12 Orlando Magic, 2012-13 Lakers, 2013-14 Houston Rockets).

Allen Iverson is the only other player in NBA history that was selected to three straight All-Star games with a different team but he did not play in one of those games.

First timers
There are six first-time All-Stars this year -- Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, Paul Millsap and John Wall.

Curry is set to become the first Golden State Warriors starter in the All-Star game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995. He is currently in the top five in both points and assists per game.

The last player to finish a season in the top five in both of those categories was Tiny Archibald in 1975-76.

The lone Maverick
Dirk Nowitzki has now been selected to the All-Star game 12 times. On eight of those occasions, he was the only member of his team that was selected. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that only Michael Jordan (9) and Patrick Ewing (9) were their teams' lone All-Star selections more times than Nowitzki.

Dunking time
Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors will try to defend his slam-dunk title. He’s trying to become the fourth player to win back-to-back dunk-contest titles, along with Michael Jordan (1987 and 1988), Jason Richardson (2002 and 2003) and Nate Robinson (2009 and 2010).

Durant keeps up the 40-point barrage

February, 9, 2014
Feb 9
6:36
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Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony matchup was one-sided on Sunday.
These types of games are becoming almost ordinary for Kevin Durant.

Durant had 41 points in Sunday’s win over the New York Knicks, giving him four 40-point games in his last 13 games played. No one else in the NBA has that many 40-point games all season.

There have been 18 40-point games in the NBA since Jan. 4. Durant has six of them.

Durant now has 34 40-point games in his career. Since the first season after the NBA-ABA merger, only three players had more such games before turning 26- Michael Jordan (74), LeBron James (42) and Tracy McGrady 36.

The Elias Sports Bureau noted that Durant became the first player in NBA history to have at least 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a game against the Knicks. Durant has scored at least 25 points in 10 straight games against the Knicks. The only other active player who has had that sort of scoring streak against them is Kobe Bryant.

Durant took advantage of a Knicks defense that allows the most points per play of any NBA team on pick-and-rolls. He was 8 for 13 from the field with 20 of his 41 points coming off pick-and-rolls.

Durant has widened his scoring lead considerably of late. He led the NBA by 1.5 points per game on Dec. 1, by 2.3 points on Jan. 1 and by 4.1 as of Sunday after outscoring the second-place scorer, Carmelo Anthony, 41-15 in the win on Sunday.

Durant played a significant role in holding Anthony down. Anthony shot 3 for 11 from the field when guarded by Durant en route to a season-low point total.

This marked only the second time that Durant's team has beaten Anthony's in 13 meetings.

Thunder, Durant can't miss in win vs. Nets

January, 31, 2014
Jan 31
11:28
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ESPN Stats & InformationThe Thunder shot 63.6 percent on Friday, their highest field goal percentage since moving to OKC.
It turns out that the only thing that could stop Kevin Durant was a blowout. His streak of 30-point games ended at 12 on Friday night as he scored only 26 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s 120-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Durant played just 30 minutes and didn’t step on the court in the fourth quarter as the Thunder cruised past the Nets, leading by as many as 32 points at the Barclays Center.

Despite not reaching the 30-point threshold, Durant had arguably the most efficient scoring night of his career. It was the first time that he made at least 10 field goals and shot more than 80 percent from the field in a game.

Durant took advantage of Shaun Livingston, going 9-of-10 with 22 points and one turnover when defended by him. He was at his best shooting from distance, making all five of his attempts from 15 feet and outside against the Nets.

He completed his dominant month with 575 points, the most in January since George Gervin had 590 in 1980. The last player to score that many points in any month was Kobe Bryant, who had 578 in March 2006.

Ibaka was Sergical
Durant was not the only efficient player in a Thunder uniform on Friday. Serge Ibaka scored 25 points on 12-for-12 shooting, the most makes without a miss by any player this season.

He did nearly all of his damage around the basket, with an average shot distance of 7.4 feet, almost three feet closer than his season average of 10.2 feet.

The last player to go 12-for-12 or better in a game was Nene Hilario in 2009 against the Utah Jazz, and the last player to do that in a road game was Karl Malone in 1999 at the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Thunder shot 63.6 percent from the field, the highest field goal percentage by any team this season and the best for the franchise since Jan. 21, 2002, against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Stat of the night
The Nets grabbed just 17 rebounds in the loss, the fewest rebounds by any team in a game since rebounds became an official stat in the 1950-51 season. For perspective, entering Friday, 42 different players have had at least one 17-rebound game this season. And Kevin Love had 16 by himself on Friday night.

Thunder dial long distance to down Heat

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
10:51
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Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsKevin Durant and the Thunder are all smiles after beating the Heat in Miami.
On the road and facing an 18-point deficit in the first quarter against the defending champs? No problem for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who rallied to beat the Miami Heat 112-95 on Wednesday night.

How rare was the win? The 18-point comeback marked the second-largest for the Thunder since moving to Oklahoma City, and it was just the fourth time the Heat have blown a lead of at least 18 points in the Big 3 era spanning the last four seasons.

In the last 15 seasons, 624 teams trailed by at least 18 points in the first quarter. The Thunder are just the third team to surge back and win that game by at least 15 points. The only other teams to do this were the Golden State Warriors at the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1999 and the Dallas Mavericks at the Toronto Raptors in 2011.

What were the keys to victory for the Thunder, who extended their win streak to nine games?

Durant cannot be stopped
Kevin Durant continued his scoring spree with his 12th consecutive 30-point game. That’s a streak that neither LeBron James and Michael Jordan have been able to match. The last players to do it were Kobe Bryant (16 straight) and Tracy McGrady (14) in the 2002-03 season.

Durant took advantage of James guarding him, going 9 for 17 with 23 points when LeBron was his defender.

He also excelled on the break, scoring 10 of the team’s 24 points in transition. Durant now has 270 transition points this season, third-most in the league.

With the win, Durant improved 4-13 in his career in head-to-head matchups vs LeBron, and helped the Thunder earn their first victory against the Heat since Game 1 of the 2012 NBA Finals.

Long-distance shooting
The Thunder dominated the Heat from beyond the arc, making 16 of 23 three-pointers, compared to just 3 of 19 for Miami.

The Thunder moved the ball well around the perimeter, assisting on 13 of their 16 made 3-point field goals. Entering the game, the Thunder had assisted on a league-low 71.7 percent of their made 3-pointers.

It was the Thunder’s most 3-pointers made since moving to Oklahoma City and their most in a game since February 23, 2005 at the Hornets.

Turnovers
The Heat committed 21 turnovers, one shy of their season-high, and were outscored 25-14 in points off turnovers. Oklahoma City is now averaging 18.1 points off turnovers per game, the sixth-most in the NBA.

Miami really struggled to hold onto the ball in the second quarter, turning it over seven times, which led to 12 Oklahoma City points. Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade combined for five of those seven miscues in the second quarter.

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