LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Kyrie Irving added 17 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the hosts Brooklyn Nets outlasted the Atlanta Hawks for a wild 145-141 victory on Wednesday (Dec 30).
Durant registered his first double-double as a Net by adding 11 rebounds and missed his 13th career triple-double by two assists. After sitting out for the first time on Monday, Durant shot 11 of 22 from the floor and made all nine of his free throws.
The Nets placed seven in double figures.
Joe Harris added 23 points and the Nets never trailed after his three-pointer made it 123-120 with 6min 27secs remaining. Jarrett Allen added a double-double with 15 and 13 rebounds, Landry Shamet contributed 14 and Taurean Prince chipped in 12 as Brooklyn shot 54 per cent and had 19 three-pointers.
John Collins and Trae Young scored 30 points apiece for the Hawks, who were seeking their first 4-0 start since 2010-11. Bogdan Bogdanovic hit six three-pointers and added 22 points as Atlanta shot 47.5 per cent and knocked down 18 three-pointers.
Irving started slowly but heated up in the final 12 minutes after a three-of-16 start. He shot seven of 11 in the fourth and hit an array of shots, including a layup with about four minutes left where he split four defenders for a 132-128 lead.
Irving’s three-pointer put Brooklyn up 137-132 with 2:01 remaining and the lead was down to 137-136 after John Collins hit two free throws with 45 seconds left. On the next possession, Irving hit a 10-foot fadeaway in the lane over De’Andre Hunter with 32.5 seconds left for a 139-136 edge.
After Bogdanovic missed a three-pointer with 26.9 seconds left, Allen seized the rebound and Irving connected with Durant for a baseline dunk that made it 141-136 with 15.6 seconds left. A three-pointer by Hunter made it 141-139 with 8.8 seconds remaining but Durant iced it at the line with 6.3 seconds remaining.
Atlanta appeared to be getting separation late in the third when a three-pointer by Solomon Hill gave them a 103-94 lead with 1:16 left. Brooklyn quickly countered with an 8-1 spurt on two layups by Prince sandwiched around a Durant three-pointer and Atlanta led 104-102 entering the fourth.