On March 21st in 2014, Kevin Durant put on a show at the Air Canada Center in Toronto.
He finished with 51 points (15-32 FGs; 7-12 3Ps; 14-19 FTs), 12 rebounds, and seven assists including the game-winning three in a 119-118 win.
With teammate Russell Westbrook limping off the floor in the third quarter after spraining his right ankle, there was a lot of onus on Durant to take the team to victory. While he put up all-round numbers, he did receive plenty of help from reserve guard Reggie Jackson, who finished with 21 points (5-10 FGs; 10-10 FTs) in the 29 minutes he played after Westbrook's injury.
However, when it mattered the most, it was Durant that carried the Thunder home. He brought them from eight points down with a minute left by scoring six of the team's 9-2 run, which he sealed with a clutch long bomb over Amir Johnson.
This game, his second 50-point game off that season, would go down to be his last 50-point performance as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
That campaign he averaged a career-high 32.0 points while also posting 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists to lead the OKC Thunder to a 59-23 record despite All-Star Westbrook missing 36 games of the season.
Those numbers earned him his first and only career league MVP award.
Other notable events on March 21st
- In 1953, Hall of Famer Bob Cousy scored 50 points (25 of which came in overtime sessions) in the Celtics 111-105 elimination win over the Syracuse Nationals in a quadruple overtime contest of the Eastern Division Semifinals. His 30 free-throws are an NBA record (regular season & playoffs).
- In 1989, 7-7 Golden State Warriors center Manute Bol blocked 13 shots in a 151-127 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
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