Kevin Durant had 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists as the short-handed Brooklyn Nets outlasted the Toronto Raptors for a 131-129 overtime victory Tuesday night, December 14 (Wednesday, December 15, Manila time) in New York.
The Nets rallied from an 11-point deficit on a night when they had eight players available due to seven players being placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol.
LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre’ Bembry, Jevon Carter, James Johnson, and Paul Millsap were declared out for the game Tuesday morning. About an hour before the opening tip, Bruce Brown and James Harden entered the protocol.
Durant, who was listed as questionable with a sore right ankle after scoring 51 points Sunday in Detroit, produced his 14th career regular-season triple-double and second this season.
Durant shot 12-of-29 from the field in 48 minutes as the Nets won for the fourth time in five games.
Patty Mills added a season-high 30 points by hitting seven three-pointers as the Nets shot 48.5%. Rookie Kessler Edwards added a career-best 17 points and 10 boards in his third career game while Nic Claxton contributed 16 points.
Fred VanVleet paced the Raptors with 31 points, scoring 16 points in Toronto’s 44-point third quarter that gave the visitors a 100-91 lead into the fourth. Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam added 25 apiece and rookie Scottie Barnes finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto shot 45.7%.
The Nets held a 117-111 lead when Mills hit a three-pointer with 4:43 remaining, but Toronto scored the next nine points for a 120-117 lead on Trent’s three-pointer with 1:21 left. Brooklyn tied the game when Mills beat the shot clock with an off-balance three-pointer with 13.1 seconds left, and regulation ended after VanVleet missed an 18-footer with three-tenths of a second left.
Toronto took a 124-120 lead on Siakam’s layup with 4:17 remaining in overtime, but the Nets scored the next eight points. Durant hit three mid-range jumpers before Mills hit a difficult 16-footer for a 128-124 lead with 2:08 remaining.
The Nets held a 128-126 lead when VanVleet missed a floater with 41.3 seconds left. Durant then missed a 17-footer with 14.2 seconds remaining, but rookie David Duke Jr. grabbed the offensive rebound and hit two free throws with 10.3 seconds left to make it a four-point game.
VanVleet’s three-pointer made it 130-129 with 5.4 seconds remaining, and Mills split two free throws with 3.3 seconds to go. The game ended with Barnes’ jumper bouncing off the top of the rim at the buzzer. – Rappler.com