Kristian Winfield was working hard on his calculator this Thanksgiving and his final numbers suggest that with some luck and good health, Kevin Durant could move into the Top 10 of NBA scorers ... this season.
In Wednesday’s win over Toronto, KD scored only 12 points, but it was enough to move him past Kevin Garnett on the all-time list, giving him 26,074 career points and into 18th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Next up: John Havlicek (26,395 points). That’s only 321 points away.
Then, as Winfield writes, the pace to the Top 10 quickens. Paul Pierce at No. 16 scored only two more points in his career than Havilchek. Tim Duncan scored only 99 more than Pierce. Indeed, the names he’d surpass along the way to No. 10 read like a partial list of Hall of Fame players.
He is only 1,335 points behind Moses Malone (27,409 points), who holds the 10th spot. Durant would pass Malone — as well as John Havlicek, Paul Pierce, Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes — if he averages 21.5 points from here on out and plays in the remaining 62 games on the NBA schedule.
After his 12-point output in Toronto, Durant is averaging 28.8 points a game. He’s played in all 19 games so far this season.
After Malone, there’s KD’s Olympic teammate Carmelo Anthony, at No. 9 with 28,289 points. That seems out of reach this season. Winfield writes he’s had have to average 35.7 points per game and play in all remaining 62 games to pass Anthony. But the Nets have him under contract for another three years after that.
Durant was philosophical about the top of the NBA scoring chart as LeBron James challenges Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the all-time title,
“To be the No. 1 in anything, there’s 8 billion people in the world, we just figured that out last week, so to be the No. 1 of all time at scoring the basketball, I’m sure it’s going to be a range of emotions for him,”
“But to be in an era where we see this live is pretty cool as well. You probably can’t even describe the emotions and feelings him and his family and his friends are going to go through, but it’s cool to see it up close.”
- Kevin Durant on pace to crack NBA’s Top 10 scorers list - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News