NBA regular season

James Harden drops triple-double in debut as Nets clip Magic

Reuters
James Harden drops triple-double in debut as Nets clip Magic

RECORD START. James Harden becomes the seventh player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his debut.

Photo by Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kevin Durant erupts for 42 points as James Harden debuts with a 32-point triple-double for a Nets side still without Kyrie Irving

Kevin Durant unleashed a season-high 42 points and James Harden added a 32-point triple-double in his debut for the Brooklyn Nets, who recorded a 122-115 victory over the Orlando Magic in New York on Saturday night, January 16 (Sunday, January 17, Philippine time).

Durant shot 16-of-26 and set a franchise record by scoring at least 25 points for the ninth straight game. He surpassed 30 points for the fifth time this season as the Nets won their third straight.

Harden shot 8-of-18 from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds. His 14 assists broke the franchise record set by Kevin Porter in 1977 for assists in his debut with the team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He added 4 steals and made 13-of-15 free throws in 40 minutes.

Harden also became the seventh player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his debut with a new team.

Joe Harris added 17 points for the Nets, who shot 53.8% and hit 16 three-pointers in their sixth straight game without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons, health and safety protocols).

Nikola Vucevic scored a season-high 34 points for Orlando, which dropped its fifth straight but played its most competitive game of the skid.

Terrence Ross added 23 and rookie Cole Anthony contributed 16 as Orlando shot 46.3% while playing without Evan Fournier (back spasms) for the eighth straight game.

Harden hit 5 free throws, assisted on a layup by Landry Shamet for his 10th assist, and hit a three-pointer in the final 1:52 as the Nets held an 84-83 lead into the final quarter. 

The Nets took a 96-88 lead early in the 4th on a triple by Harden but Orlando was within 100-98 on a jumper by Ross with 6:57 left.

Durant surpassed 40 points by hitting a three-pointer with 4:35 remaining to give Brooklyn a 110-104 lead. 

Harden picked up his triple-double when he got the rebound of a missed jumper by Anthony with 3:10 remaining, and the Nets secured the win when Durant drove the lane and passed to Bruce Brown for a corner three-pointer with 1:37 remaining that pushed the lead to 117-107.

Harden scored his first points as a Net by hitting two free throws with 6.8 seconds left as the Nets held a 29-26 through 12 minutes. He added 6 more points as Brooklyn held a 52-50 lead by halftime after Orlando ended the quarter on a 7-2 spurt. – Rappler.com

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