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NBA (National Basketball Association)

Kevin Durant ‘cool with the trajectory’ he’s on after becoming second youngest to reach 20,000 NBA points

The 29-year-old targets 30,000 after becoming the 48th player in league history to reach the mark

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 11 January, 2018, 2:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 January, 2018, 10:04pm

Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant has become the newest member of the NBA’s 20,000-point club, hitting a pull-up jumper late in the second quarter of his side’s 125-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers to become the 48th player in league history to hit that mark.

Durant, who needed 25 points to reach the milestone and wasted no time doing so before half-time, was briefly honoured by the sell-out crowd as a highlight reel of his sensational scoring ways played.

The natural question now, of course, is how much farther up the scoring ranks the 29-year-old might go.

If Durant is able to stay healthy, it’s only a matter of time until he becomes the ninth member of the 30,000-point club (LeBron James is 126 points away from becoming the eighth).

At his recent rate of scoring (25.3 points per game since joining the Warriors last season), and averaging 80 games played per season along the way, it would take Durant just over four more seasons to reach that mark (putting him at age 34).

Yet health has been a major issue for Durant in recent years, with injuries costing him 55 games in the 2014-15 campaign and a combined 30 in the past two seasons.

In the seven seasons before, Durant played 97.1 per cent of the regular season schedule (542 of 558 games).

If he were able to return to his Iron Man ways, then it might be tempting to play long enough to surpass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) as the top scorer of all time – if, of course, James hasn’t already done it by that point.

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Here’s how that ambitious view might look: if Durant averaged 25.3 points per game and averaged 80 games played for the next 8.57 seasons, he would get there. No matter the outcome, it’s clear that Durant is well on his way to going down as one of the greats.

“It would be nice to be in that [30,000-point group],” Durant said recently. “That’s like the prime scorer’s number. I may have to play a lot to get there. But for now, I’m cool with the trajectory I’m on. I’m cool with the progress I’m making. We’ll see.”