NBA regular season

Red-hot Nets beat Bucks for 8th straight win

Red-hot Nets beat Bucks for 8th straight win

STABILIZER. Kyrie Irving steadies the ship for the Nets down the stretch.

Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Nets stretch the NBA's longest active winning streak to eight games by handing the erstwhile league-leading Bucks their second straight defeat

Kyrie Irving came alive in the fourth quarter when he scored 14 of his 18 points as the Brooklyn Nets fended off a comeback attempt by the Milwaukee Bucks and extended the NBA’s longest active winning streak to eight games with a 118-100 victory in New York on Friday, December 23 (Saturday, December 24, Manila time).

Facing the NBA’s best team, the Nets also won for the 12th time in 13 games and improved to 10-1 in their past 11 home games. Brooklyn led for the final 42:56, by as many as 23 in the third quarter, and made enough plays down the stretch.

Irving helped Brooklyn close it out after missing 9 of his first 10 shots. After Milwaukee was within 99-89 on a three-pointer by former Net Brook Lopez, Irving shot 6 of 18 but converted a three-point play with 4 1/2 minutes left and hit a three-pointer with 3:07 remaining to make it 113-92 and clinch the win.

Kevin Durant led the Nets with 24 points and ended Friday at 26,484 points – 12 behind Tim Duncan for 15th on the all-time scoring list.

Nic Claxton made his first 9 shots and added 19 as the Nets shot 49.5% and earned their third double-digit win of the streak. Royce O’Neale hit 5 of Brooklyn’s 14 three-pointers and contributed 17 points, while Ben Simmons nearly posted a triple-double of 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 of Brooklyn’s 30 assists.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 26 points but Milwaukee lost consecutive games for the second time this season. Lopez added 23 as the Bucks shot 44% and Jrue Holiday contributed 18 on a night when the Bucks missed 28 of 37 three-point tries.

Durant scored 10 points as the Nets shot 56% and held a 36-29 lead after the opening quarter. Brooklyn led by double digits most of the second quarter and took a 60-47 lead by halftime.

Brooklyn opened its first 20-point lead when O’Neale’s three-pointer made it 72-52 with 7:54 remaining and a hook shot by Simmons expanded the margin to 77-54 about two minutes later. Milwaukee outscored Brooklyn 21-8 over the final 5:50 to get within 85-75 entering the fourth after Pat Connaughton hit a three-pointer with 6.1 seconds left. –

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