The mantle of the NBA’s best scorer is always up for debate, but Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant sent a timely reminder that he is the elite player 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 to Detroit with few players, but thanks to Durant’s explosive scoring, they went with a 116-104 win to go to 19-8 for the season.

Durant had 51 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal on an efficient 16 of 31 from the field, 5 of 10 from beyond the arc and 14 of 15 from the arc. free throw line.

“Us [were] Missing James and we miss Paul Millsap so I feel like I had to make up the score a bit more, Durant said after the game.

(NBA Getty Images)

Let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind Durant’s scorching night in Detroit.

1: Highest score of the season

Durant’s 51 were well below the 54 points he reached in his career, which he established against the Golden State Warriors in 2014 while playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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

RANK PLAYER SCORE
one. Kevin During 51 points
two. Stephen Curry 50 points
3. Anthony Edwards 48 points
Four. Giannis Antetokounmpo 47 points
5. Jaylen brown 46 points

10:50 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 of 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 career 50-point games, and tonight is 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 twice as many 50-point games as second place.

Kyrie Irving is tied for eighth all-time, making him the three Nets payers currently in the top 10 among active players.

RANK PLAYER (all time) 50 PT GAMES
one. James Harden (fourth) 23
2 = LeBron James (7th) 12
2 = Damian Lillard (7th) 12
Four. Stephen Curry (10th) eleven
5. Kevin Durant (13th) 7
6. Russell Westbrook (18th) 5
7. Bradley Beal (18th) 5
8 = Anthony Davis (22nd) 4
8 = Carmelo Anthony (22) 4
8 = Kyrie Irving (22) 4