US basketball

Kevin Durant clutch as Nets hold off Raptors

Kevin Durant clutch as Nets hold off Raptors

CRUNCH TIME. Nets forward Kevin Durant celebrates after hitting a three-point basket against the Raptors in the final quarter.

Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Nets arrest a late meltdown with Kevin Durant and Royce O'Neale coming through in the final minute against the Raptors

Kevin Durant hit a tiebreaking three-pointer with 56 seconds left for the Brooklyn Nets, who nearly folded down the stretch before earning a 109-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in New York on Friday night, October 21 (Saturday, October 22, Manila time).

Durant snapped a 102-all deadlock when he got enough room at the top of the key, received a pass from Royce O’Neale, and made the three-pointer over Toronto forward OG Anunoby.

The Nets held a 100-88 lead on a basket by Nic Claxton with 5:38 remaining. But Brooklyn was unable to seal the win at that point as Toronto ripped off 12 straight points and forged a tie when Pascal Siakam found Anunoby for a three-pointer with 1:46 to go.

After Durant’s clutch shot, O’Neale hit a three-pointer for a 108-104 Nets lead with 15.3 seconds to essentially seal matters.

Kyrie Irving led the Nets with 30 points and added 7 points, including the pass to O’Neale for his key trey. Durant added 27 for the Nets, who shot 47.5%. 

Claxton contributed 19 points and 11 rebounds to help Brooklyn overcome a 10-point deficit late in the third and bounce back from an ugly 22-point loss to the New Orleans Pelicans in the season opener.

Siakam posted a triple-double with a game-high 37 points plus 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Fred VanVleet added 18 points while Scottie Barnes contributed 17 for Toronto, which shot 48.8% and lost for only the sixth time in the past 28 meetings with Brooklyn.

After Brooklyn held a four-point lead through the first quarter, Gary Trent’s three-pointer gave Toronto a 46-37 lead with 4:03 left before halftime. The Nets sliced the deficit to 52-49 by the break, then took a 64-56 lead with 7:34 left in the third on consecutive treys by Durant.

Toronto went on a 20-2 surge to grab a 76-66 lead with 3:31 left in the third. The Nets soon countered with 17 straight points for an 86-79 lead on Irving’s three-point play with 9:43 to go before nearly collapsing in the final minutes. –

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