NBA regular season

Kevin Durant, Nets put away Blazers late to complete season series sweep

Kevin Durant, Nets put away Blazers late to complete season series sweep

BACK ON TRACK. The Nets return to the winning column behind a fourth-quarter breakaway against the Blazers.

Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Nets sweep the Trail Blazers in their season series for the first time since the 2012-13 season

Kevin Durant scored 31 points as the Brooklyn Nets opened a seven-game homestand by pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 111-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, November 27 (Monday, November 28, Manila time).

Durant made 12 of 20 shots as the Nets completed its first season sweep of Portland since the 2012-13 season. Unlike their two-point win in Portland decided on a Royce O’Neale tip-in in the final second last November 17, the Nets surged ahead after the game featured 16 lead changes and nine ties through the opening three quarters.

Seth Curry helped the Nets pull away by adding 13 of his season-high 29 points in the fourth when the Nets outscored Portland 27-17. He hit 3 of his 7 three-pointers in the opening 6:45 of the fourth when Durant rested and finished with his most points since being acquired from Philadelphia at last year’s trade deadline.

Kyrie Irving added 22 as the Nets shot 52.6%, made 15 threes, and allowed under 100 points for the sixth time this season. Nic Claxton contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds, while Ben Simmons chipped in 12 rebounds and 8 assists.

Jerami Grant followed up his career-high 44 points in Friday’s overtime win over the Knicks by leading Portland with 29 points. Jusuf Nurkic collected 17 points and 14 rebounds, but Anfernee Simons was held to 15 on 4-of-14 shooting after scoring 38 last Friday as Portland shot 44.3%.

Brooklyn shot nearly 57% and held a 31-24 lead through the opening quarter after Irving hit a 13-footer with 17.6 seconds remaining. Portland began the second with a 16-4 run that gave them a 40-35 lead before Durant returned with 6:14 remaining. Brooklyn took a 58-57 lead at halftime following a pair of free throws by Claxton with 11.4 seconds left.

Durant’s 12-footer snapped a 74-all tie with 4:03 left and Joe Harris converted a four-point play to make it 80-74 with 3:05 before the Nets took an 84-80 lead into the fourth. Curry’s third three-pointer of the fourth opened a 96-87 lead with 6:45 left and the Nets took their first double-digit lead when Durant’s three made it 101-90 with 4:20 to go.

Brooklyn then finished it off when Durant found Irving for an open corner three-pointer that pushed the lead to 105-92 with 2:37 remaining. –

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