Durant-led Nets beat Hawks, improve to 8-0 after a loss

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ATLANTA (AP)Kevin Durant scored 31 points, including a go-ahead jumper midway through the fourth quarter, and the Brooklyn Nets proved to be resilient once again, beating the Atlanta Hawks 113-105 on Friday night.

The Nets, protecting their slim lead over Chicago for the best record in the Eastern Conference, improved to 8-0 following losses this season. Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 15 points, were rested in Wednesday night’s 114-104 loss at Houston.

James Harden had 20 points and 11 assists for Brooklyn, which is 2-0 against Atlanta this season.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 31 points. John Collins had 20 and Kevin Huerter added 19.

There were three ties early in the final period, including at 95-all. Durant’s jumper sparked an 8-0 run that gave the Nets a 103-95 lead.

SUNS 111, CELTICS 90

PHOENIX (AP) – JaVale McGee had season highs of 21 points and 15 rebounds, Chris Paul added 12 assists and Phoenix rolled past Boston.

The Suns won for the 20th time in 21 games despite missing starters Devin Booker (hamstring) and Deandre Ayton (non-COVID-19 illness).

McGee picked up the slack, shooting 9 of 16 from the field and even knocking down a 3-pointer, which was just the 11th in his 14-year career.

Seven Suns scored in double figures. Cam Payne had 17 points while Jae Crowder and Cameron Johnson both added 16.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 24 points.

BUCKS 123, ROCKETS 114

HOUSTON (AP) – Giannis Antetokounmpo had 41 points and 17 rebounds, and Milwaukee snapped Houston’s seven-game winning streak.

The Rockets led by 10 at one point and hung around until the Bucks pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Bobby Portis and Middleton added 21 points each for Milwaukee as the Bucks won for the 11th time in 13 games.

Garrison Mathews led the Rockets with a season-high 23 points and made a career-best six 3-pointers. Christian Wood and Armoni Brooks had 21 apiece for Houston.

LAKERS 116, THUNDER 95

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – LeBron James scored 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting and Los Angeles rolled past Oklahoma City.

James – who sat out the Lakers’ first two games against the Thunder this season, both losses – had six assists and five rebounds. Avery Bradley added a season-high 22 points for the Lakers, who moved one game above .500.

Rookie Tre Mann scored a season-high 19 points for Oklahoma City. Leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who came in averaging 21.9 points per game, finished with 11 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

HORNETS 124, KINGS 123

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Sacramento’s three-game winning streak ended when De’Aaron Fox missed two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to give Charlotte the victory.

Charlotte rookie James Bouknight, the 11th pick in the 2021 draft, poured in a career-high 24 points on six 3-pointers. Miles Bridges added 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Kelly Oubre had 22 points. The Hornets have seven players out due to illness and NBA health and safety protocols.

Fox had 31 points to lead the Kings, but his missed free throws proved critical. Cody Martin made one of two free throws to put the Hornets ahead before fouling Fox near midcourt.

RAPTORS 90, KNICKS 87

TORONTO (AP) – Gary Trent Jr. scored 24 points, Fred VanVleet had 17 points and 11 assists, and Toronto won its 10th straight home meeting against New York.

Scottie Barnes had 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds and Pascal Siakam had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who let a 20-point first quarter lead slip away but held on to win their third in four games.

The Knicks’ Obi Toppin scored a career-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds, Julius Randle had 13 points and 14 rebounds, and RJ Barrett scored 19 points. New York lost for the sixth time in its past eight.

PACERS 106, MAVERICKS 93

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Caris LeVert scored 26 points and Domantas Sabonis added 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Indiana past Dallas.

Indiana won its third straight game for the first time this season – this one coming without coach Rick Carlisle, who entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19. Assistant coach Lloyd Pierce replaced Carlisle on the bench.

Luka Doncic had 27 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for Dallas. Kristaps Porzingis added 22 points as the Mavericks lost for the fourth time in five games.

CAVALIERS 123, TIMBERWOLVES 106

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Jarrett Allen had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Cleveland used a fast start to cruise past Minnesota.

Kevin Love scored 18 points and had 13 rebounds off the bench against his former team, and Darius Garland had 12 points and 12 assists. Cleveland had seven players score in double digits: Lauri Markkanen (19), Isaac Okoro (16), Cedi Osman (13) and Evan Mobley (11).

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 12 of his 21 points in garbage time, Malik Beasley had 15 points off the bench and Anthony Edwards scored 13 for Minnesota, which has lost five straight.

PELICANS 109, PISTONS 93

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Brandon Ingram scored 26 points and New Orleans extended Detroit’s losing streak to 11 games.

Jonas Valanciunas had 17 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter but led by as many as 27 in the second half. Since starting 1-12, New Orleans has won seven of 15 games.

Trey Lyles scored 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting and rookie Cade Cunningham added 16 points for Detroit, which missed 19 of 24 shots in the third quarter while being outscored 29-12.

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