Led by Kevin Durant, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 116–103 on Tuesday and became the first team in the Eastern Conference to win a ticket to the NBA playoffs.
“I am very proud of all the members of the organization, from top to bottom, for all the ordeals we have gone through this year with the injuries, protocols (fighting COVID-19), exchanges and players entering and exiting the squad,” Durant said.
The striker scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds, while other Nets star Kerry Irving dropped to just 9 with a medium-sized shot 3/13 from the field.
Also contributed to the Jeff Green Center with 22 points and veteran Blake Griffin with 17 points in the victory of the net, who is still unable to replace the injured James Harden.
For the Raptors, point keeper Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and striker OG Anunoby scored another 21 points in Black Night from the rest of the Canadian team, Pascal Siakam (10 points on shots 2/16) and Fred Vanfleet (11 with 4/17).
Only Utah Jazz, the leaders of the West, closed their sidewalk to the net.
“We’re looking for bigger goals, but it’s a good first step to get a place,” said Steve Nash, head coach of Canada’s Brooklyn club. “For this group, in the face of everything we’ve faced to be in that position with 10 matches left, that’s a very positive thing.”
Between injuries and personal problems, the Nets barely managed to get the big three – Hardin, Irving and Durant – on the field in seven matches and recently lost to Lamarcus Aldridge, who unexpectedly retired from basketball due to fear of heart problems.
Brooklyn, one of the ring’s biggest contenders, remains the leader of the East with a 1.5 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers and 3.5 over the Milwaukee Bucks, who beat the Charlotte Hornets 114-104 on Tuesday.
Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmo defeated Charlotte with 29 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists, accompanied by the middle, Brooke Lopez, with a further 22 points.
For the Hornets, who are hoping to recount at the weekend with rising star Lamello Ball, Devonte keeper Graham finished 25 points, 6 3s and forward Miles Bridges with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
– Doncic supera a Curry –
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks swept 133-103 at the Golden State Warriors in a duel between two of the league’s best keepers, Luca Dunsic and Stephen Curry.
The Slovenian finished with 39 points and 8 assists for the Mavericks, who advanced 36-12 in the first quarter and did not lift his foot off gas until he scored 28-0 in an astonishing 43-point lead.
For the Golden State, Curry had 27 points and 5 hat-tricks while his partner, Dreamond Green, left without scoring (0/1 in field goals) with 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Boston Celtics stunned the promoted Oklahoma City Thunder, second to last in the West, with a 119–115 loss.
The Celtics had victims who included Jason Tatum and Kimba Walker. All-star goalkeeper Jaylene Brown, with 39 points and 11 rebounds, could not avoid the Boston defeat because he received little help from team-mates such as Marcus Smart (14 points in the 4/17 shooting) and Frenchman Evan Fournier (11 on 4/14) .
Tuesday’s results in the NBA:
Boston Celtics – Oklahoma City Thunder 115-119
Charlotte Hornets – Milwaukee Bucks 104-114
Indiana Pacers – Portland Trail Blazers 112-133
Toronto Raptors – Brooklyn NTS 103-116
Houston Rockets – Minnesota Timber Wolves 107-114
Golden State Warriors – Dallas Mavericks 103-133