NBA regular season

Nets edge Heat even as Durant exits with injury

Reuters
Nets edge Heat even as Durant exits with injury

ESCAPE. Kevin Durant and the Nets hack out a one-point win over Jimmy Butler and the Heat.

Michael Laughlin/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kevin Durant leaves in the third quarter due a bruised knee, but the Nets hold on thanks to a clutch Royce O'Neal bucket with time running out

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and dished 6 assists as the Brooklyn Nets overcame a second-half injury to Kevin Durant to beat the host Miami Heat, 102-101, on Sunday, January 8 (Monday, January 9, Manila time).

Brooklyn’s Royce O’Neale scored the go-ahead basket on a putback with 3.2 seconds left. He rebounded an Irving three-point miss.

Miami’s Jimmy Butler missed a contested drive in the lane off the backboard as time expired. The Heat wanted a foul on an O’Neale bump at the end of the play.

Durant left in the third quarter due to a bruised right knee. He appeared to get hurt when Butler accidentally rolled onto his leg. Durant finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. He entered the game averaging 30 points.

The Nets, who have won 14 of their past 15 games, also got 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks from Nic Claxton.

Butler led Miami with 26 points along with 8 rebounds. Tyler Herro, who returned after missing one game due to back spasms, added 24 points.

Miami’s Bam Adebayo was limited to 28 minutes due to a thigh injury. Adebayo finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. He entered the game averaging 21.8 points.

Brooklyn led by as many as 9 points early on, but the Nets held just a 31-30 advantage at the end of a wild first quarter. Brooklyn’s T.J. Warren made a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds left but Miami’s Gabe Vincent answered with his own trey at the buzzer as he was falling out of bounds.

Miami’s Haywood Highsmith made a fortuitous three-pointer earlier in the quarter, banking his bucket in off the side of the backboard with the shot clock near zero.

Irving led all first-quarter scorers with 11 points as Brooklyn shot 57.1% from the floor, including 5-of-8 on three-pointers.

The Nets extended their halftime lead to 66-64. Irving led all second-quarter scorers with 13 points and Brooklyn shot 61.1% from the floor, including 4-of-8 on 3-pointers.

The Heat ended the third quarter on a 12-3 run, taking an 82-79 lead into the fourth. Both teams cooled off in the third quarter as Miami shot just 25%, while Brooklyn made 27.8%.

Brooklyn held on in the fourth and finished the game shooting 51.3% from the floor, including 12-of-33 on three-pointers.

Miami shot 41.3%, including 13-for-35 on three-pointers. – Rappler.com

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