Durant leads big rally at MSG as Nets storm Knicks | Sports News
By BRIAN MAHONEY, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant had 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the Brooklyn Nets 21 points to a 110-98 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, bolstering their chances of get the best seat possible. next week in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.
After seeing the Nets comeback from 28 when he was injured on their last visit to Madison Square Garden, Durant scored 23 points in the second half to power that comeback that sent Brooklyn into a seventh-place Cleveland game at ballast.
The Nets host the Cavaliers on Friday night. If they win that and then beat Indiana on Sunday in their regular-season finale, they’ll finish seventh and need to win one game out of two chances at home in the play-ins to qualify for the playoffs.
Kyrie Irving added 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Nets, who swept the four-game season series and beat the Knicks for the seventh straight time, their longest winning streak in the local rivalry since the taking a franchise record 11 in a row from 1984 to 1986.
It looked like it would go the Knicks’ way most of the night, and they were still up 18 with less than four minutes left in the third quarter. But Brooklyn cut it to 10 at the end of the period, then opened the fourth with a 15-2 push to take the lead.
The Knicks recovered to regain a three-way lead, but Durant scored eight straight points for Brooklyn, including the tying jumper that went 98-96 with 4:15 left. The Nets followed with 3 points from Irving, Seth Curry and Patty Mills to open it.
Curry and Mills each scored 15 points.
Alec Burks scored 24 points and RJ Barrett had 23 for the Knicks, who were in control after a 19-0 spanning the first and second quarters.
The Knicks closed out the first quarter with a 10-0 push to take a 29-25 lead. They ran the first nine of the second period, making it 38-25 on Obi Toppin’s field goal just over two minutes. New York got 3 straight points from Barrett and Evan Fournier made it 63-46 and the lead was still 17 at the break.
Burks opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and Barrett knocked down a free throw to make it 71-50, but New York would get just 11 more points and shoot 5-for-20 in the quarter. Durant hit a pair of 3s on a 10-2 run to end the period that was down to 82-72.
Nets: Coach Steve Nash says G Goran Dragic, who missed his third straight game under NBA health and safety protocols, was feeling better but still in Atlanta, where he started to feel sick. … F James Johnson was out for a second game in a row due to illness. … Brooklyn finished 24-17 on the road, the most wins in franchise history.
Knicks: Starting C Mitchell Robinson has been scratched with an illness unrelated to COVID-19. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said rookie G Quentin Grimes, who was out again with pain in his right knee, was day-to-day and he would leave it up to the player and the medical staff to get better. he was playing again this season.
Nets: Host Cleveland on Friday night.
Knicks: In Washington Friday night.
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