There is no denying that Steph Curry’s 2014-2015 campaign was amazing (and really this season might be better). Last season he was the league’s MVP, an NBA All-Star, and NBA champion — just to name a few accolades.
However, we are quick to overlook the season that Kevin Durant had during the 2013-2014 season. He may not have finished the season with the championship (which is what really matters) but he would win his first MVP award and he filled the stat sheet on a nightly basis. During that season he had some spectacular games, and one of those nights was on January 17, 2014.
On January 17, 2014, in front of a raucous crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena, Durant would have one of his best games that season. He would score a career high 54 points against the Curry-led Golden State Warriors. In fact, over the course of their careers Durant and Curry have had 20 head-to-head matches with the Thunder winning 14 of those and Durant besting Curry in almost all statistics (of course Curry has a big fat ring to wear).
But on that night Durant showed the world why he is one of the best players in the league and deserving of the MVP trophy at the end of the season. Laced up in a “Home” colorway of his signature Nike KD VI, Durant was hitting shots from all over the floor, bringing energy to his team on offense and defense. It has to be mentioned the Thunder were missing Russell Westbrook during this time so even more pressure was on the shoulders of the 6′ 9″ small forward.
The pace of the game was torrid to start the game, not surprising considering the two teams at play. At the end of the first quarter the Thunder would hold a 39-32 lead with KD scoring 15. That lead was one they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. The first quarter was pivotal to the outcome of the game as both teams were nearly matched in quarters 2 through 4.
With such a closely contested game Durant brought his A-game each minute he was on the floor. During the fourth quarter he would make sure to give the Thunder cushion and keep the crowd’s energy electric. In a 75-second span he would score three three-pointers and help push the lead to 17 at one point. He would finish the game with 54 points while being very efficient. Durant only had the ball in his hands for 3:17 the entire game but still went 19-of-28 from the floor, including 5-of-9 on three-pointers and 11-of-13 from the charity stripe. Can’t forget the 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block.
A career night, deserving of the MVP chants the hometown crowd gave him constantly. He might not have a NBA Championship (yet) but no one can take away his special 54-point game.