Kevin Durant was sensational Sunday night for the Brooklyn Nets. Durant had his best outing as a member of the Nets, the franchise he joined a little over two seasons ago, when he scored 51 points to lead the Nets to a road victory versus the Detroit Pistons.
Durant shot 16-of-31 from the floor, including going 5-of-10 from downtown, to produce the best scoring effort by an NBA player this season. Durant also made 14-of-15 free throws and tallied seven rebounds and nine assists in the 116-104 win for the Brooklyn Nets.
Following the game, Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash was full of admiration for Durant's eighth 50-point game of his career. Nash said:
"Kevin was incredible. Not an easy night. They played extremely hard, tons of energy. We were playing different lineups. There were different guys out there at different times trying to find spacing and spots... There were some challenges there for us. For him to be able to score 51 and nine assists, seven rebounds, two bloack and a steal, unbelievable!"
"Really special to see how he goes about his business off the court" -Durant's Brooklyn Nets teammate Patty Mills
Durant also found another admirer for his 51-point outing against Detroit in Patty Mills. With James Harden being rested for the game, Mills got an opportunity to start and scored 18 points in the contest for the Brooklyn Nets. Having played with Durant as a starter in the game, Mills said of the 11-time All-Star.
"I think it was special for everyone who was able to take part in that, being up-and-close and personal to what happened tonight. It's really special to see how he goes about his business off the court. Not a lot of people have the opportunity to see what goes into something like that. They may see the result and the result is unbelievable, but I think for me, it's special to see what happens behind the curtains and behind closed doors, which makes it even more special. An unreal game."
Durant also bettered Little Caesars Arena scoring record enroute to his 51 points. Durant's Brooklyn Nets teammate Blake Griffin held the previous best individual score at the arena, courtesy a 50-point game he dropped in an overtime victory for the Detroit Pistons three years ago versus the Philadelphia 76ers.
Durant is currently leading the NBA's scoring averages in the 2021-22 season with 29.4 ppg. He is a four-time scoring champion. Durant's 51 points bettered Steph Curry's 50 points versus Atlanta on November 8 as the NBA's best individual scoring game of the current season. The Brooklyn Nets lead the Eastern Conference standings behind Durant's superlative play.