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Kevin Durant scored an NBA season high 51 points on Sunday night to help the Brooklyn Nets to a 116-104 win against the Detroit Pistons.
Missing James Harden due to rest and with Kyrie Irving still absent from the team, the Nets leaned on Durant for scoring and the perennial NBA All-Star delivered.
The 33-year-old finished with 51 points off of 16-of-31 shooting in his 41 minutes on the floor along with seven rebounds, nine assists and two blocks.
His mark of 51 is the highest scoring game by any player this season, one more than the 50 scored by Durant’s former teammate Steph Curry on November 8.
In the post-game media conference, when asked if he was aware that he was approaching 50 points in the fourth quarter, Durant said with a smile, “Of course.”
“We’re missing James (Harden), we’re missing Paul Millsap, so I felt like I had to pick up the scoring a little more,” Durant added. “This team, Detroit, was playing back in the pick and roll, they wasn’t doubling as often as other teams, so I just tried to take advantage.”
Not only was it a season-high tally, but Durant’s 51 points was also a record for the Pistons’ Little Caesars Arena.
He surpassed the mark set by Nets teammate Blake Griffin of 50 points. It was the seventh 50-point game of Durant’s career.
It came on the same day Durant was fined $25,000 for directing obscene language towards a fan during their last game in Atlanta.
For the undermanned Nets, guard Patty Mills scored 18 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 15 points.
The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021, Cade Cunningham, led Detroit with 26 points, while Frank Jackson had 25 points.