Kevin Durant passed Dominique Wilkins for 14th on the NBA’s all-time scoring leaderboard Sunday, nailing a mid-range turnaround jumper to out-point the Hawks’ legend with a 26,669th.
Though he ultimately exited the game against Miami with a right knee injury, Durant finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block in 30 minutes. The Nets closed out a 102-101 victory for their 18th win in 20 games.
Having scored his 26,684 points in only 978 games to date, Durant is positioned to reach the next several spots well faster than their current inhabitants. Oscar Robertson (27,710 points in 1,040 games) is up next, soon followed by Hakeem Olajuwon (26,946; 1,238).
Durant notably ruptured his Achilles’ tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals, missed the 2019-20 season and then returned with little evidence of slowdown. Fittingly, Wilkins was one of the only previous players with an Achilles’ injury to regain most of their previous form.
With continued health, Durant should also surpass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone this season; Carmelo Anthony and Shaquille O’Neal would be likely be overcome early in the 2023-24 campaign, leaving Durant No. 8 all-time with room to soar.