Recent 10-day contract signee Mike James fueled a fourth-quarter rally, and a balanced effort helped the Brooklyn Nets weather off-scoring nights from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in their 116-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors Tuesday in Tampa, Fla.
The Nets (42-20), facing a season-sweep from the Raptors (26-36), fell behind 90-84 in the fourth quarter. But James scored seven of his 11 points over a 2:43 stretch, which coincided with a decisive 22-6 Brooklyn run.
Durant then scored seven consecutive Nets points after posting just 10 points through three quarters, shutting the door on Toronto’s comeback effort.
Durant was one of seven Nets to score in double-figures with 17 points, and added a team-high 10 rebounds. Jeff Green paced Brooklyn with 22 points, Joe Harris added 16 points, and Landry Shamet finished with 14 points.
Nets coach Steve Nash used an eight-man rotation, but all three Brooklyn bench players scored in double-figures. Blake Griffin joined James with 17 points, and Tyler Johnson added 10.
James also dished a game-high eight assists.
Brooklyn caught fire from 3-point range down the stretch to close the night 18 of 45 beyond the arc. Harris’ 4 of 9 led the way, with Green and Durant each adding three 3-pointers.
Kyle Lowry shot 6 of 9 from outside en route to a game-high 24 points for the Raptors, and OG Anunoby shot 3 of 5 behind the line to finish with 21 points. Toronto went just 15 of 43 as a team, however, and 36 of 91 from the floor overall.
Pascal Siakam, who led Toronto to two previous victories over Brooklyn with a combined 60 points, went 2 of 16 from the floor for 10 points on Tuesday. Fred VanVleet shot 3 of 12 from 3-point range for the Raptors and finished with 11 points.
Malachi Flynn came off the bench and scored 13 points in the loss, while Khem Birch — one game removed from matching his career scoring high at 14 — came a rebound shy of his career-high with 14. Birch added 13 points.
–Field Level Media