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Kevin Durant, Nets get past Pelicans

Jan 6, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles against New Orleans Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III (25) during the first half  at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant had 33 points and 10 rebounds and the visiting Brooklyn Nets held off the New Orleans Pelicans 108-102 on Friday night.

Kyrie Irving added 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, T.J. Warren scored 15 and Royce O’Neale had 14 for the Nets, who won for the 13th time in 14 games.

CJ McCollum scored 28 points, Naji Marshall scored a career-high 23, Jose Alvarado had 17, Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Trey Murphy III scored 11 points for the Pelicans, who lost for just the fifth time in 22 homes games this season.

Durant scored the Nets’ first eight points of the third quarter, and the Nets went from an 11-point halftime deficit into a 70-69 lead on a 3-pointer by O’Neale with 8:15 left in the period.

That was the first of six lead changes before consecutive baskets by Valanciunas gave the Pelicans an 85-80 lead.

Warren had six points as Brooklyn scored the final eight to take an 88-85 lead at the end of the quarter.

New Orleans scored the first five points of the fourth, and the Nets went scoreless until Warren’s reverse layup tied the game at 90 with 7:38 left in the game. Irving and Durant each made a 3-pointer to help Brooklyn take a 96-92 lead.

Murphy’s three-point play trimmed the lead to one, but O’Neale answered with a 3-pointer.

McCollum made one free throw, but Irving beat the shot-clock buzzer with a basket from the lane for a 103-98 lead with 1:12 left.

In the first quarter, Marshall made three 3-pointers in four attempts as New Orleans took a 24-14 lead with just over three minutes left.

Durant finished with 11 points as Nets got within 28-27 at the end of the period.

Alvarado scored eight consecutive points for New Orleans during a 15-1 run to start the second quarter that increased the lead to 15.

Irving made a jumper for Brooklyn’s first field goal after more than four minutes and the Nets trailed by 13.

McCollum scored six points in the final 1:22 of the half and the Pelicans led 64-53 at halftime.

–Field Level Media