Harden, Durant help Nets break away late, beat Heat 98-85

Harden, Durant help Nets break away late, beat Heat 98-85

NEW YORK – Kevin Durant wasn’t making photographs. James Harden was barely taking them.

That despatched the Brooklyn Nets right into a defensive wrestle, and the NBA’s highest-scoring crew dealt with it properly till their superstars confirmed up.

Harden and Durant every scored 20 factors regardless of three comparatively quiet quarters, and the Nets broke away with a giant run within the fourth to beat the Miami Warmth 98-85 on Monday night time.

Kyrie Irving added 16 factors for the Nets, who accomplished a sweep of the Warmth in two video games that could not have been extra totally different. Brooklyn received 128-124 on Saturday, then took the rematch regardless of barely topping its lowest-scoring recreation of the season.

“I feel our protection held tight the entire recreation,” Durant mentioned. “As soon as we had been in a position to begin making some photographs there within the fourth, we had been in a position to draw back. However our protection received us this recreation for certain.”

Harden had solely 10 factors and 5 photographs by means of three, then scored 10 extra within the 18-2 spurt that turned a tie recreation right into a 96-80 lead. The NBA’s assists chief completed with eight, however struggled to seek for his personal shot till altering his mentality within the fourth.

“Simply being aggressive,” he mentioned. “I feel I wasn’t very aggressive all through the course of the sport.”

Durant shot simply 4 for 17 by means of three, then hit two 3-pointers within the fourth, the latter snapping a 78-all tie and igniting the large run.

Bam Adebayo had 26 factors, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in a robust follow-up to his career-high 41 factors Saturday. However outdoors of Goran Dragic’s 21 factors, there was little else for a short-handed Warmth crew that’s with out Jimmy Butler and Avery Bradley due to well being and security protocols. Tyler Herro, Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless are injured.

Nevertheless it seemed for some time as if they might pull it out anyway, shutting down a crew that got here in averaging 120.3 factors per recreation till halfway by means of the ultimate interval.

“Their expertise simply took over on the finish,” Warmth coach Erik Spoelstra mentioned. “I really like the way in which our guys competed.”

The Nets had been 4 for 21 (19%) within the first quarter, lacking all 10 3-pointers of their lowest-scoring interval of the season, which ended with Miami main 21-15.

The second quarter was barely simpler on the eyes — and rims. Miami took a 45-41 edge into halftime, going simply 4 for 19 on 3s however doubling the Nets’ makes after they went 2 for 17.

TIP-INS

Warmth: Adebayo beat the buzzer to finish the third quarter with a 3-pointer that gave Miami a 71-70 lead. He additionally made a 3 as time expired to finish the primary half Saturday, adopted by an extended jumper within the closing second of the third quarter. … Duncan Robinson was 1 for 10, all from 3-point vary.

Nets: Durant missed his first six 3-point makes an attempt earlier than sinking one within the third quarter. He completed 3 for 12 behind the arc and has scored 20 factors in each recreation this season. … The Nets have received 5 straight at house.

KYRIE AND KOBE

Irving arrived on the enviornment carrying a No. 8 Kobe Bryant Lakers jersey. In a video posted by the Nets, he pulled his jacket open for a full view of the jersey, saying: “You already know who I used to be rocking tonight. Come on, it’s apparent.”

The Nets had been scheduled to play on the Knicks final Jan. 26, hours after the helicopter crash that killed Bryant. Irving left the sector, too distraught to play following the demise of his pal.

HARDEN’S ADJUSTMENTS

Harden had simply two baskets, each within the fourth quarter, throughout Saturday’s recreation. He then took solely two photographs within the first half Monday in one other passive efficiency.

However coach Steve Nash mentioned earlier than the sport he wasn’t nervous in regards to the three-time scoring champion as he adjusts to his new crew.

“Would I like James to be extra aggressive? Sure. Will he be extra aggressive in time? I feel so,” Nash mentioned. “I feel as soon as he will get extra comfy together with his teammates, when he will get in higher form, when he’s tailored to this complete new surroundings, we’ll see an improved James scoring the ball.”

UP NEXT

Warmth: Host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday to start out a six-game homestand.

Nets: Open a three-game highway journey Wednesday at Atlanta.

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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