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Royce O’Neale’s triple-double lifts Nets over Blazers

Nov 17, 2022; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) is fouled while shooting by Brooklyn Nets power forward Royce O'Neale (00) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Royce O’Neale capped his first career triple-double by converting the tiebreaking tip-in with 0.7 second remaining as the visiting Brooklyn Nets earned a 109-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday.

O’Neale totaled 11 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds — and no play was bigger than how he finished Brooklyn’s last possession. After Jusuf Nurkic converted a tying 3-point play with 6.5 seconds left, Kevin Durant missed a 21-footer from the left elbow and O’Neale jostled around Damian Lillard and Josh Hart to convert the dramatic layup.

Following O’Neale’s clutch hoop, he got his hands on Justise Winslow’s inbounds pass and, following a replay review, officials put 0.1 second on the clock. The game ended when Durant knocked away the inbounds pass.

Durant scored 35 points and became the 19th player to reach 26,000 career points early in the third. Yuta Watanabe added 20, including a 3-pointer that put Brooklyn up 106-101 with 1:47 remaining.

Ben Simmons posted his first double-double as a Net, collecting 15 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists before fouling out. Joe Harris added 15 points as the Nets shot 50.6 percent and won for the fifth time in eight games after allowing 153 points Tuesday in Sacramento.

Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 25 points and 11 assists but also shot 8 of 24. Simons added 24 points and rookie Shaedon Sharpe contributed a career-high 20.

Portland shot just 6 of 23 in the fourth and 38.7 percent overall and blew an 11-point lead.

Lillard’s layup just before the buzzer put Portland up 61-57 at halftime, and the Blazers expanded the lead to 82-71 on a hoop by Simons with three minutes left in the third. Brooklyn scored the next 14 points and took an 85-82 lead into the fourth when Watanabe hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left.

Portland held a 95-90 lead on two Lillard free throws with 8:20 remaining, but Durant gave the Nets a 97-95 lead nearly two minutes later — and Brooklyn never trailed again.

–Field Level Media