Kevin Durant is in the midst of one of the most productive scoring stretches of his stellar career.
That likely doesn't bode well for a Sacramento Kings team that's still looking for its first win in Oklahoma City.
Coming off a career-high scoring night, Durant tries to help the Thunder improve to 10-0 at home against the Kings on Sunday night.
Durant increased his league-leading average to a career-high 30.6 points after scoring 54 in a 127-121 home win over Golden State on Friday. He went 19 of 28 from the field, hitting three of his season-high five 3-pointers during a 75-second stretch of his 15-point fourth quarter. Durant topped his previous best of 52 against Dallas exactly one year ago Saturday.
"As a leader, my main objective is to serve my teammates, help them out," Durant said. "Some nights, I've got to put it up, I've got to score. Some nights, I've got to do other things.
"(On Friday) they found me and I was able to hit a few shots. I just tried to do as best as I can to lead the team and lead us to victory."
Durant has scored at least 36 in three consecutive games and 30 or more in six straight while averaging 39.7 points. It's his most prolific run since scoring at least 30 in seven in a row twice during the 2009-10 season, including a 36.3 average over the final seven games to finish at 30.1 and win his first of three straight NBA scoring titles.
The current surge has not only intensified talk of Durant possibly earning his first league MVP award, but also has helped the Thunder (30-10) win two in a row and three of four as they continue adjusting without star point guard Russell Westbrook (knee).
"Of course, as a player, you'd love to win an MVP award, but I can't take my focus off the team," Durant said. "Every day, I've just got to keep chipping away, keep enjoying the process, and we'll see what happens."
Oklahoma City, 10-1 at home when Durant scores at least 30, now looks to continue its dominance over Sacramento (14-24), having won seven straight and 16 of 18 in the series. Since the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008-09, they've averaged 112.1 points on 49.1 percent shooting while winning all nine home meetings with the Kings by an average margin of 13.3 points.
Durant had 27 points and 11 rebounds as the Thunder held on for a 97-95 win at Sacramento on Dec. 3 in the only meeting this season.
The Kings dropped to 1-2 on a six-game trip with a 91-90 loss at Memphis on Saturday. DeMarcus Cousins had 22 points and 17 rebounds, but Sacramento blew a seven-point lead as the Grizzlies closed with a 10-2 run.
"(The Grizzlies) have guys who show poise under pressure," first-year coach Michael Malone said. "That's something we have yet to find."
Cousins has averaged 24.5 points with 13.5 rebounds while recording a double-double in 13 straight games to match the longest such streak by a Kings player since they relocated to Sacramento in 1985-86.
However, he's failed to earn a double-double in his last eight games against the Thunder, and totaled 17 points with 13 boards in the last two at Oklahoma City. He missed last month's meeting with an ankle injury.