NBA regular season

James Harden’s triple-double leads Nets past Spurs

James Harden’s triple-double leads Nets past Spurs

IN CONTROL. Nets star James Harden dribbles against Spurs forward Doug McDermott.

Daniel Dunn/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

James Harden and the Nets turn it on in the final quarter to shake off the pesky Spurs

James Harden scored 37 points, dished out 11 assists, and grabbed 10 rebounds and the visiting Brooklyn Nets turned it on in the fourth quarter to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 117-102 on Friday, January 21 (Saturday, January 22, Manila time).

The Nets led by five points at the end of the third quarter after a late run and continued that momentum into the fourth, steadily pulling away over the final eight minutes. Brooklyn went up 107-94 after 12 combined points over a three-minute stretch by Kyrie Irving, who finished with 24 points, and Harden.

Brooklyn led by as many as 17 in the final minutes.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points off the bench for the Nets in his first return to San Antonio since he was released by the Spurs last season. Blake Griffin hit for 10 points and Day’Ron Sharpe grabbed 10 rebounds for Brooklyn, which has won two straight games.

Dejounte Murray led the Spurs with 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to record his second consecutive triple-double and his ninth this season, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook for second in the NBA behind the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic (10).

Derrick White added 17 points and 7 assists for San Antonio, with Jakob Poeltl recording 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Keldon Johnson scoring 14 points. The Spurs shot just 38.9% from the floor and were 8-of-29 (27.6%) from three-point range.

The Spurs led 26-24 after a first quarter that was mostly dominated by Brooklyn. There were six lead changes in the second period, with San Antonio settling for a 51-50 advantage at the break.

Harden led the Nets with 14 points at halftime while Murray scored 13 to pace the Spurs in an even, if raggedly played, first 24 minutes.

The third quarter was back and forth as well, with seven lead changes and neither going in front by more than five points. The Nets ended the period with a 6-0 run, punctuated by dunks by Aldridge and Bruce Brown, and were up 79-74 heading to the final 12 minutes of play. –

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