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RECAP: Kyrie Irving’s 39 help Brooklyn Nets edge Clippers

Feb 2, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Los Angeles Clippers small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (L) and small forward Joe Harris (R) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 39 points but the Brooklyn Nets nearly collapsed again down the stretch before outlasting the Los Angeles Clippers 124-120 Tuesday night in New York.

Kevin Durant added 28 points and nine rebounds for the Nets, who shot 57 percent from the floor. James Harden posted his fourth triple-double with the Nets and the 50th of his career by totaling 23 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.

Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points for the Clippers, who saw a three-game winning streak stopped and lost for only the second time in their past 12 games. Paul George added 26 and Nicolas Batum contributed 21 for Los Angeles, which shot 45.5 percent on field-goal attempts.

The Nets rebounded from a wild 149-146 loss in Washington on Sunday when they allowed two 3-pointers in the final seconds.

Against the Clippers, Brooklyn hit four free throws in the final 9.8 seconds.

Three foul shots by Harden put Brooklyn up 115-106 with 2:36 left, and the Nets held a 118-108 lead after a 3-pointer by Durant with 1:55 remaining.

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Los Angeles scored the next nine points to get within 118-117 on a corner 3-pointer by George with 24.8 seconds left. Brooklyn did not score again until Durant hit two free throws for a 120-117 lead with 9.8 ticks remaining.

After two free throws by Leonard made it a one-point game with 7.1 seconds left, Jeff Green’s layup off a long inbounds pass from Harden made it 122-119 with 5.5 seconds left.

Batum split two free throws with 3.1 seconds left, and Irving sank two free throws with 1.9 seconds left to finally secure the win.

Irving scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, and his reverse layup around Leonard and George gave the Nets the lead for good at 104-102 with 4:58 remaining. Irving’s go-ahead basket occurred two minutes after Los Angeles held a 102-97 lead after a three-point play by George.

Brooklyn stormed back from a nine-point deficit late in the second quarter and was within 58-57 by halftime after nifty layups by Harden and Irving in the final 35 seconds. The third quarter featured eight lead changes and four ties as Los Angeles rallied from a six-point deficit in the final 4:20 and took a 90-88 lead on George’s 16-footer with 1.1 seconds remaining.

–Field Level Media