Monday / January 27 / 2014
homer sayson

Photo: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) smiles after hitting a basket in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

CHICAGO -- Thirty-seven, 36, 54, 30, 46, 36 and 32.

Those aren't today's lucky lotto numbers. Neither are they your grandma's winning bingo combination.

Those digits are the points Kevin Durant has scored in each of his last seven games, all of which were victories for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who currently sit atop the Western Conference with a 35-10 record.

With a 7-game win streak on hand, the Thunder have also inched quietly behind the 34-9 Indiana Pacers for the best overall record in the league.

Durant's rage began last January 7 when he scored 48 in a loss to the Jazz at the Energy Solutions Arena in Utah. He has since scored at least 30 points in 10 consecutive games. And there are no signs of letting up.

In his latest adventure , Durant tormented the Sixers for 32 points at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. He also added a few cherries on the sundae, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, giving him his second triple-double of the season and fifth for his career.

Durant's spree is doubly impressive given that most of the Thunder's victims are playoffs-bound contenders.

Last January 16 the Thunder rolled past the Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, 104-95. They went home the following night and took care of the dangerous Golden State Warriors, 127-121, at the Oracle Arena. On January 21, OKC held off the visiting Portland Trail Blazers, 105-97, before traveling to San Antonio the next day and outshooting the Spurs at the AT&T Center, 111-105.

Durant isn't just hot. The man is on fire.

Photo: Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) laughs as he talks with Sacramento Kings head coach Michael Malone in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Kings in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. Oklahoma City won 108-93. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

A 5-time All-Star and 3-time NBA scoring, Durant has scored a total of 382 in his ongoing 10-game rampage, sinking 122 of 226 shots.

But here's where it gets real scary. In his last three outings, KD has amassed 114 points while making 41 of 64 field goals (64 percent), 9-of-15 threes (60 percent) and 23 of 25 free throws (92 percent).

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and Toronto Raptor Terence Ross hugged the headlines over the weekend for scoring 62 and 51 points, respectively. But their spurts were merely one-night stands while Durant 's scoring spectacle is an orgy of 19 days and counting.

So what did Durant's feat get him in return?

First and foremost is the ton of wins that put OKC in the championship radar after many had scratched them out of the picture following Russell Westbrook's late December surgery that will sideline the dynamic point guard until sometime in February, reportedly after the All-Star break.

Secondly, Durant has bolstered his reputation as one of the best shooters in the business, one who put the ball through the nets in any way conceivable . And he gets another monicker along the way.

Already known as the "Durantula," the spindly 6-foot-9, 240-pound Durant has spurned an internet nickname the "Slim Reaper"

But averaging 38.2 points in 10 games doesn't make Durant the best player in the NBA. It does, however, put him on top of the list of MVP candidates for the 2013-14 season.

After a well-deserved time off on Sunday, OKC resumes play Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena to host Atlanta, which totes a respectable 23-20 record but a mere 8-13 slate on the road. More importantly, Atlanta's defense ranks among the poorest in the NBA, surrendering 101 points a game.

The ball is round, anything can happen, I know. But against the "Slim Reaper," these guys from Atlanta look like dead Hawks flying.  

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