NEW YORK (AP)Kevin Durant scored 34 points to lift the Brooklyn Nets to a much-needed 116-109 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
Durant authored some personal and franchise history in Brooklyn’s second win of the season (2-5). With two first quarter free throws, Durant passed Vince Carter for 19th on the NBA’s All-Time scoring list. He now has 25,752. And he has scored at least 25 points in each of the first seven games of the season, the most in franchise history.
Kyrie Irving added 28. Nic Claxton had 19 points and nine rebounds.
Despite a 30-point performance from Chris Duarte, Indiana dropped to 3-5. Buddy Hield chipped in with 22. Bennedict Mathurin contributed 16, and Tyrese Haliburton had 11.
The Nets won a highly entertaining back-and-forth game in the fourth quarter. Entering the final 12 minutes, Brooklyn had a 92-85 lead. But Indiana used a 15-8 spurt over the first 6 1/2 minutes to draw even at 100-all.
On their next two possessions, the Nets responded. First Claxton’s two-handed follow dunk of an Irving missed 3 put Brooklyn up by two, and 28 seconds later Durant drilled a pullup jumper to stretch the lead to 104-100.
A few moments later the lead was seven following two made Durant free throws and a Claxton free throw. Indiana closed to 112-109 on a Mathurin floater with 1:43 left.
But an Irving floater extended the lead to five, and two Durant free throws sealed the win.
Pacers: Entering their eighth game of the season, Indiana was second in the league in scoring, averaging 118.9 points per game. During his pregame availability, head coach Rick Carlisle pointed to Haliburton’s play as a reason for the Pacers’ early success. ”As other players watch Tyrese,” Carlisle said, ”they (say), `Wow, this guy plays fast.’ He moves it quickly. He’s got an amazing skill set.”
Nets: About two hours before tipoff, the Nets announced guard Ben Simmons would miss the game with a ”sore left knee.” Simmons, who missed all of the 2021-22 season with a back injury which would require microdiscectomy surgery on May 5, had played in Brooklyn’s first six games and averaged 6.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 7.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.7 blocks.
Pacers: Hosts Miami Friday.
Nets: Hosts Chicago Tuesday.
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