NBA regular season

Durant, Nets power past Timberwolves in foul-plagued game

Durant, Nets power past Timberwolves in foul-plagued game

CHALLENGED. Nets forward Kevin Durant controls the ball against Timberwolves (from left) Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Naz Reid.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kevin Durant secures the win for the Nets over the Timberwolves in a game where officials called a combined 56 fouls

Kevin Durant fired 30 points as the Brooklyn Nets withstood a foul-plagued game and held off the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves for a 110-105 victory in New York on Friday night, December 3 (Saturday, December 4, Manila time). 

The Nets won for the 14th time in 17 games on a night when the officiating crew of Kane Fitzgerald, Dedric Taylor, and Nick Buchert called a combined 56 fouls.

Durant shot 9-of-18 from the field and made 12-of-13 free throws. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 6 assists in a game that featured 26 lead changes. Durant’s biggest shot of the night also provided the final margin.

The Nets held a 108-105 lead after a free throw by James Harden with 40.7 seconds remaining. 

Minnesota’s Malik Beasley missed a three-point try with 32.6 seconds remaining, and on Brooklyn’s next possession Durant drained a difficult 15-foot fadeaway with 11.3 seconds left to secure the win.

Patty Mills added 23 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 4:09 remaining that put Brooklyn up 103-101. Mills hit four triples on a night when the Nets missed 17-of-23 three-point tries.

James Harden added 20 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds as Brooklyn shot 46.8% in a game where it never led by more than seven points.

Minnesota was without Karl Anthony-Towns, who missed his first game with a tailbone contusion after being listed as questionable and warming up before the game. He took a hard fall after completing a dunk in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game at Washington.

Without Towns, former Nets guard D’Angelo Russell paced the Wolves with 21 points and 11 assists, but he shot 6-of-22 from the field. 

Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid added 19 apiece, while Beasley contributed 18, as Minnesota shot 38.7% and committed 18 turnovers.

Brooklyn scored the first 12 points of the second quarter for a 39-34 lead on a basket by James Johnson with 9:09 remaining before the half. The Wolves regained their footing as Edwards scored seven straight points and hit a three-pointer for a 51-45 lead with 3:56 remaining.

The Nets ended the half with a 14-4 run and took a 59-55 lead by halftime after rookie Cam Thomas hit a triple with 14.2 seconds left.

The Nets held an 84-77 lead on a three-pointer by Mills with 3:05 left in the third quarter and settled for an 86-85 lead heading into the fourth. –