By Adrian Stewart Co
Kevin Durant had his best offensive game of the 2020-2021 NBA Season as the Brooklyn Nets manhandled Indiana Pacers, 130-113, on Thursday night (Friday in the Philippines) at the Bankers Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The one-time NBA MVP awardee torched the Pacers with 42 points, while also dishing out 10 assists and hauling three rebounds as the Nets stayed on top in the Eastern Conference with 43-20 slate.
Alize Johnson grabbed career-best 21 rebounds while scoring 20 points, while Joe Harris, Jeff Green and Landry Shamet contributed 14 markers apiece for Brooklyn.
The Nets were scorching early on behind Durant, Green and Johnson for a 35-28 lead. It grew further to 66-52 at the half with conversions from Shamet, Harris and Tyler Johnson.
Brooklyn went on to build its largest lead at 110-88 in the third period but Indiana went on a huge rally in the fourth quarter as they trimmed the deficit to 113-106.
Durant steadied the ship for the Nets with consecutive baskets and Alize Johnson and Shamet connecting game-sealing baskets as the lead ballooned to 130-113 with under a minute remaining in the contest.
Caris LeVert, who played for the Nets earlier this season before getting traded to Indiana, tallied 36 points, while Edmond Sumner added 16 markers as the Pacers dropped to 29-33.
Just like Durant, Tim Hardaway Jr. erupted for career-high 42 points as the Dallas Mavericks (43-20) pulled off a come-from-behind 115-105 victory over Detroit Pistons (29-33).
Trailing 101-102, Hardaway jumpstarted Mavericks’ surge with three free throws and back-to-back three-pointers as they built a 109-105 edge before Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell sealed the win with baskets.
Kevin Porter Jr., for his part, dropped 50 points to go along with 11 assists as also-ran Houston Rockets (17-47) cruised to a 143-136 stunner over Milwaukee Bucks (38-25).
BROOKLYN 130 – Durant 42, A. Johnson 20, Green 14, Harris 14, Shamet 14, T. Johnson 11, Luwawu-Cabarrot 7, Griffin 5, Perry 2, James 1.
INDIANA 113 – LeVert 36, Sumner 16, McDermott 15, Brissett 14, A. Holiday 12, Sampson 8, J. Holiday 4, McConnell 4, Martin 3, Brogdon 1, Brimah 0, Stanley 0.
Quarterscores: 35-28, 66-52, 111-93, 130-113./ASC, WDJ