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Kevin Durant carries short-staffed Nets in win over Sixers

Sportsnaut
Dec 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) dribbles as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) defends during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) dribbles as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) defends during the first half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant totaled 34 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, including the tiebreaking four-point play with 1:46 remaining as the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets beat the Philadelphia 76ers 114-105 Thursday night in New York.

Durant scored 13 points in the fourth quarter when the Nets allowed the Sixers to tie the game twice before ending with an 11-2 run.

After Joel Embiid hit a 4-footer in the lane for a 103-103 tie with 1:55 left, Durant knocked down a 3-pointer from near the top of the key and converted the subsequent foul shot after being fouled by Tobias Harris with 1:46 remaining.

Brooklyn finished off its fourth straight win by getting a 3-pointer from Blake Griffin and two free throws by David Duke Jr. before Durant hit a 6-footer with 35 seconds left.

Durant shot 13 of 24 and recorded his league-leading 13th 30-point game and season-high fourth straight 30-point game.

The Nets played their second straight game with seven players in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols and had nine players available. They were without starters LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre’ Bembry and James Harden and reserves Bruce Brown, Jevon Carter, James Johnson and Paul Millsap.

Griffin and Nic Claxton each added a season-high 17 points as the Nets shot 49.4 percent. Patty Mills contributed 14 and hit four of Brooklyn’s 11 3-pointers while rookie Cam Thomas chipped in 11 points.

Embiid totaled 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the 76ers lost for the third time in four games. Seth Curry added 29 points, but Harris was held to 11 on 3-of-17 shooting. He was 0 for 5 from deep as Philadelphia missed 24 of 34 3-point tries.

Durant scored 10 points as the Nets ended the first quarter on a 20-8 run and held a 39-25 lead. Durant was on the bench when Mills hit a 3-pointer to make it 47-31 with about seven minutes left in the second, and the Nets ended the half with a 12-4 run to take a 66-48 lead.

Embiid scored 14 points in the third as the Sixers nearly erased their entire deficit and were within 85-79 entering the fourth.

–Field Level Media