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‘Amazing to be amongst the greats’: Kevin Durant moves into top 10 on NBA all-time scoring list

By Thomas Schlachter, CNN

(CNN) — Kevin Durant moved up to No. 10 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list during the Phoenix Suns’ 119-111 loss against the Denver Nuggets on Friday.

Durant went off for 30 points in the matchup to take his all-time points tally to 27,423 – overtaking NBA icon Moses Malone in the process.

It seemed inevitable that Durant would climb into the NBA’s top ten during Friday’s matchup and just before the halftime interval, the 35-year-old attacked Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson under the basket before finishing off the glass to surpass Malone’s 27,409 points.

“It’s amazing to be amongst the greats,” Durant said of his achievement to reporters postgame.

“It’s a long journey to be up there, to be mentioned with the greats. It takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of preparation and a lot of people to help you get to that point.

“I’m grateful thinking about the people that helped me get to this point, all my teammates, coaches, family, friends that invested in me since a kid,” the Suns star added before laughing that his achievement also shows his elder statesman status in the league.

Durant is widely regarded as one of the greatest scorers of all-time and his place in the rankings reflects that. The 2014 NBA MVP has an offensive arsenal that few can match and he has been the league’s scoring champion an incredible four times.

The 13-time NBA All-Star is also just one of three players to feature in the prestigious 50-40-90 club for multiple seasons. This is a group of players who have shot at least 50% from the field, 40% from three and 90% at the free-throw line in a season.

While it was a special night for Durant, the shortchanged Suns could not overcome the Nuggets.

Nikola Jokić starred again for Denver and finished with an impressive 21 points and 16 assists in his team’s impressive win on the road.

“We didn’t play with nearly enough toughness and attention to detail in the first half,” Phoenix head coach Frank Vogel said afterwards, according to Reuters.

“It was one of our worst defensive halves. But you’ve also got to credit the Nuggets and Nikola Jokić. That’s why he’s one of the best in the world – he can take any four teammates and create great looks for those guys. He’s really special.”

Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics did enough to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers with a 125-119 win. The Sixers, without Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, battled throughout but didn’t have enough firepower to mount a comeback after Boston’s early onslaught.

Boston had four players reach 20 points on the night, including Jayson Tatum who was ejected at the end of third quarter after picking up two technical fouls.

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