Kevin Durant and James Harden are prolific scorers and have both led the NBA in scoring. Durant has led the league four times while Harden has done so three times. Durant has been sidelined this season due to an Achilles injury, but Harden is putting up impressive numbers. This season Harden has tallied an average of 39.5 points, 6.1 boards and 7.8 assists per game. On the other end, Durant has made a career out of his scoring abilities. During the 2013-14 season KD won the NBA MVP award while averaging 32 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game
During a debate on ESPN’s First Take, Sports Analyst Max Kellerman made the statement that KD is the greatest scorer of this era, not Harden.
“No, this is pure recency bias and foolishness. People aren’t thinking it through,” Kellerman responded when he was asked if he thought Harden was the best scorer in this era. “Obviously KD was a better scorer in this era than James Harden”
Kellerman elaborated on his thoughts and said, “When they were on the same team who was the clear, the number one option on that team? KD. Who was the sixth man? James Harden. There’s a reason for that. Who scores more efficiently? KD. Who has a higher lifetime scoring average? KD…. He is obviously a better scorer than James Harden.”
James Harden X Kevin Durant
Harden and KD are both obvious superstars in the NBA. That’s no debate. Now, who is the better scorer? That’s a different story. Over the span of 785 games played, the beard has averaged 24.7 points. Durant has played a total of 849 games and has an average of 27 points per game. KD also has a career shooting average of 49.3% from the field and 38.1% from beyond the arc while harden averages 44.3% from the field and 36.4% from the three-point. Overall, KD’s numbers show that he is in fact the better scorer.
During the debate on ESPN’s first take, sports analyst Stephen A. Smith also had a few words to say about both players’ skill sets.
“We all know that KD is the most efficient [scorer]. I’m just simply saying, skill and then want to. KD doesn’t want to beat you that way [by continuously shooting]. James Harden doesn’t care,” Smith said.
Kellerman then replied that Harden was, “the thirstiest scorer of this era” not the best.
Durant currently plays for the Brooklyn Nets but has been sidelined this season as he suffered an Achilles injury last season during Game 5 of the finals with the Golden State Warriors. On the other hand, Harden who plays for the Houston Rockets has been hot this season. During his game against the Atlanta Hawks, Harden sat the fourth quarter and scored 60 points in just 31 minutes. According to USA Today Sports, he has now scored 60 points in four different games, tying him with Michael Jordan for third-most in NBA history.
The Houston Rockets currently post a 13-7 record and place fifth in the Western Conference. They play today against the Toronto Raptors at 4:30 p.m. PST.