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Harden, Durant lead Nets over Bucks in thriller



Golden State Warriors escape 19-point hole, stun LA Lakers

JAMES Harden collected 34 points and 12 assists, Kevin Durant added 30, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 36.8 seconds left and the Brooklyn Nets outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks for a 125-123 victory on Monday night in New York.

Harden became the first Net to get a 30-point game in his first two games with the team and also added four rebounds. He shot 13 of 25 from the floor and scored 13 points in the final 12 minutes when the lead changed hands 10 times.

Harden’s biggest rebound occurred with 38 seconds left when he missed a 3-pointer and got the offensive rebound. He quickly found Durant, who calmly knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Brooklyn the lead for good at 125-123.

Milwaukee had a chance to regain the lead, but Khris Middleton missed a 3-pointer with 29.2 seconds. After a turnover by Durant with 5.5 seconds left, Milwaukee called a timeout, but the game ended when Middleton missed left corner 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left while being closely guarded by Bruce Brown.

Durant surpassed 30 points for the fourth time in five games since returning from missing three games due to health and safety protocols. His 3-pointer helped Brooklyn win its fourth straight and end an eight-game home losing streak to Milwaukee.

Joe Harris added 20 and hit five 3-pointers as Brooklyn shot 54.8% and hit 15 of 31 3-point tries while playing without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons, health and safety protocols) for the seventh straight game.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points for Milwaukee, which saw a four-game winning streak stopped. He also grabbed 12 rebounds while shooting 13 of 26 from the floor.

Middleton added 25 and Jrue Holiday contributed 22 as Milwaukee shot 43.8% and misfired on 26 of 37 3-point tries.

The Nets took a 92-81 lead on a free throw by Harden with 2:23 remaining in the third quarter Milwaukee was able to get within 94-89 entering the fourth on a layup by Holiday right before the buzzer.

Milwaukee briefly regained the lead when Pat Connaughton’s 3-pointer made it 98-97 with 10:11 remaining, but Harden scored six points in a 10-2 spurt and his crafty layup pushed the lead to 107-100 with 7:54 to go.

Milwaukee recovered and forged a 110-110 tie on a 3-pointer by Brook Lopez with 5:01 left before taking a 113-112 lead on a Connaughton 3-pointer less than a minute later.

WARRIORS STUN LAKERS
Stephen Curry bombed in Golden State’s final points on a 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining and the Warriors forced LeBron James into an errant 3-pointer at the horn, completing a shocking, 115-113 victory over the Los Angeles (LA) Lakers on Monday.

Curry finished with 26 points, the last three giving Golden State a 115-110 lead.

James countered with two free throws with 51.2 seconds left and Los Angeles’ Dennis Schröder made one 21 seconds later to slice the deficit to two. After Curry missed a jumper, the Lakers had one final possession with 11.3 seconds left.

After a timeout, James could do no better than get an off-balance 28-footer that missed the mark, ending the Lakers’ five-game winning streak.

After trailing by as many as 19 points in the first quarter, the Warriors clawed back into contention, but the Lakers retained a 106-97 advantage with 5:52 to go.

Brad Wanamaker then ignited what turned into a 15-2 run with consecutive hoops to get the visitors within 106-101.

After Schröder hit two free throws to open the gap to seven, Curry took over, scoring five consecutive points to get Golden State within 108-106 with 3:13 to play.

Kelly Oubre, Jr. got the Warriors even for the first time since the first quarter at the 3:10 mark, after which Draymond Green, who had totaled just three points to that point, hit consecutive interior shots for a 112-108 advantage with 1:39 to go.

Green complemented seven points with team highs in rebounds (eight) and assists (nine) for the Warriors, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Schröder had 25 points to pace the Lakers, who are 7-0 on the road this season but just 4-4 at home.

James finished with 19 points, Anthony Davis and Montrezl Harris had 17 apiece and Kyle Kuzma got 15 for the Lakers, who shot just 9-for-29 on 3-point attempts and were outscored 36-27 from beyond the arc.

Davis had a game-high 17 rebounds and Kuzma gained 10 to complete double-doubles for Los Angeles. — Reuters

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