NBA regular season

Harden, Durant lead Nets over Bucks in thriller

Harden, Durant lead Nets over Bucks in thriller

VOLUME SCORER. James Harden becomes the first Net to score at least 30 points in his first two games with the team.

Photo by Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

James Harden and Kevin Durant combine for 64 points as the Nets stop the Bucks' four-game winning streak

James Harden collected 34 points and 12 assists, Kevin Durant added 30, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 36.8 seconds left, and the Brooklyn Nets outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks for a 125-123 home victory on Monday, January 18 (Tuesday, January 19, Manila time).

Harden became the first Net to get a 30-point game in his first two games with the team and also added 4 rebounds. He shot 13 of 25 from the floor and scored 13 points in the final 12 minutes when the lead changed hands 10 times.

Harden’s biggest rebound occurred with 38 seconds left when he missed a three-pointer and got the offensive rebound. He quickly found Durant, who calmly knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Brooklyn the lead for good at 125-123.

Milwaukee had a chance to regain the lead but Khris Middleton missed a three-pointer with 29.2 seconds. After a turnover by Durant with 5.5 seconds left, Milwaukee called a timeout but the game ended when Middleton missed left corner three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left while being closely guarded by Bruce Brown.

Durant surpassed 30 points for the fourth time in 5 games since returning from missing 3 games due to health and safety protocols. His three-pointer helped Brooklyn win its fourth straight and end an eight-game home losing streak to Milwaukee.

Joe Harris added 20 and hit 5 three-pointers as Brooklyn shot 54.8% and hit 15 of 31 three-point tries while playing without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons, health and safety protocols) for the seventh straight game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points for Milwaukee, which saw a four-game winning streak stopped. He also grabbed 12 rebounds while shooting 13 of 26 from the floor.

Middleton added 25 and Jrue Holiday contributed 22 as Milwaukee shot 43.8% and misfired on 26 of 37 three-point tries.

The Nets took a 92-81 lead on a free throw by Harden with 2:23 remaining in the 3rd quarter. Milwaukee was able to get within 94-89 entering the 4th on a layup by Holiday right before the buzzer.

Milwaukee briefly regained the lead when Pat Connaughton’s three-pointer made it 98-97 with 10:11 remaining but Harden scored 6 points in a 10-2 spurt and his crafty layup pushed the lead to 107-100 with 7:54 to go.

Milwaukee recovered and forged a 110-110 tie on a three-pointer by Brook Lopez with 5:01 left before taking a 113-112 lead on a Connaughton three-pointer less than a minute later. –

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