NBA regular season

Kyrie Irving, Nets clinch No. 7 seed with close win over Pacers

Kyrie Irving, Nets clinch No. 7 seed with close win over Pacers

ON FIRE. Kyrie Irving misses just 5 of his 20 shots in an efficient performance for the Nets.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kyrie Irving and the Nets end the regular season with a four-game winning streak

Kyrie Irving scored 35 points as the Brooklyn Nets clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with a 134-126 victory over the skidding Indiana Pacers in New York on Sunday, April 10 (Monday, April 11, Manila time).

Irving was 15-of-20 from the floor in his sixth home game of the season as the Nets shot 64.2% and ended the regular season with a four-game winning streak.

Kevin Durant posted a triple-double of 20 points, a career-high 16 assists, and 10 rebounds despite 5-for-17 shooting. It was his 16th career triple-double and fourth this season.

Bruce Brown added 21, while Andre Drummond helped the Nets score 74 points in the paint by totaling 20 points and 13 rebounds. Nic Claxton added 14 for Brooklyn, which survived committing 21 turnovers.

The Nets (44-38) will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in a play-in game Tuesday. Brooklyn shares the same record with the Cavaliers, who routed the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, but the Nets clinched the head-to-head tiebreaker with a 118-107 victory last Friday.

A win on Tuesday will advance the Nets into the main draw of the postseason. A loss will force them to play a second game on Friday against the loser of the play-in game between the Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Hornets.

Oshae Brissett scored 28 points and Buddy Hield added 21 as Indiana (25-57) ended the season on a 10-game losing streak. It was the Pacers’ worst season since finishing 28-54 in 1988-89 – Reggie Miller’s second season.

Duane Washington Jr. added 18 and Tyrese Haliburton contributed 17 as the Pacers shot 45.2%.

The Nets never trailed but encountered some dicey moments in the third after holding a 76-60 lead at halftime.

Indiana opened the third with a 19-4 run to get within 80-79 on a basket by Haliburton with 8:03 remaining. Two layups by Terry Taylor forged a 91-91 tie with 3:44 left.

Irving snapped the tie by hitting a three-pointer with 2:51 remaining, Durant followed with a 19-footer 27 seconds later, and then made a lob to Claxton for a dunk with 1:52 left.

The Nets took a 103-94 lead into the fourth but a three-pointer by Washington made it 107-103 with 9:39 remaining. Irving answered with consecutive baskets for a 111-103 margin with 8:56 to go.

Irving’s three-pointer upped the lead to 127-115 with 3:46 left and a basket by Brown finished it off with 59 seconds to go. –

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