Durant guides red-hot Nets past Raptors, reigning champions Bucks hit road in tailspin

‘When he’s at that level, he makes us go’ – KD ever-inspiring for the Brooklyn nets.

KEVIN DURANT SCORED 31 points to post his 10th consecutive game of 20 or more points, as the Brooklyn Nets routed the host Toronto Raptors 116-103 on Sunday.

nets-raptors-basketball Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant looks to move the ball as Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) and forward Scottie Barnes (4) defend. Source: Frank Gunn

Durant also had seven rebounds and seven assists, as Brooklyn won their fifth straight game in front of a crowd of 19,800 at Scotiabank Arena.

“Like we said since day one, he’s been unbelievable this season at both ends of the floor, rebounding, scoring, facilitating,” said Nets coach Steve Nash.

Durant was playing in Canada for the first time since tearing his left Achilles tendon while playing for the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 NBA finals.

“The last time I was here was one of my lowest moments as a basketball player,” Durant said.

James Harden added 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, Blake Griffin had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Patty Mills came off the bench to score 13 points in the win.

“When he’s at that level, he makes us go,” Griffin said of Harden, who scored 16 of his 28 in the fourth quarter. “We, as a team, can go to a different level.”

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Fred VanVleet had 21 points and eight assists for the Raptors, who have lost two in-a-row.

OG Anunoby added 16 points, Gary Trent had 14 and Precious Achiuwa scored 13 points.

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, in his first game of the season after recovering from shoulder surgery, scored 15 points in 25 minutes of playing time.

Nash, of Victoria, British Columbia, earned his first victory in his home country as a head coach.

“That means a lot,” Nash said. “This is a very special place for me. Not only Canada, but Toronto.

“I’ve spent so much of my time here, I have so many close friends, relationships and memories in this city. For me, this is definitely a sweet win.”

Elsewhere, Bradley Beal scored 30 points, and the Washington Wizards defeated the visiting Milwaukee Bucks 101-94, sending the reigning NBA champions to their fifth loss in the last six games.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the struggling Bucks with 29 points and 18 rebounds in the first game of a five-game road swing. Grayson Allen added 19 points for the Bucks.

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In New York, Ricky Rubio nailed eight three-pointers and finished with 37 points and 10 assists to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 126-109 win over the New York Knicks.

Meanwhile, Cole Anthony fuelled a late surge as the Orlando Magic upset the Utah Jazz 107-100. Although Orlando threatened a surprise result early by jumping out of the gates in the first quarter, their hopes seemed to suffer a setback as the Jazz found their rhythm through the game’s middle stages.

However, Anthony scored 10 points in a decisive 24-11 late run for the Magic to secure their third win of the season. He finished with a season-high 33 points, while Donovan Mitchell posted 21 for the Jazz.

The Oklahoma City Thunder scraped past the San Antonio Spurs 99-94 to pick up their second win in-a-row, the Indiana Pacers overcame the Sacramento Kings 94-91, while Golden State beat the Houston Rockets 120-107 and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Charlotte Hornets 120-106.

© – AFP, 2021, additional reporting from Press Association


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