Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets were defeated defensively in a 110-95 NBA win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, their fourth win in five games since Kyrie Irving was suspended.
With the Nets still emerging despite the upsets, the Boston Celtics picked up a sixth straight win and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers thanks to Luka Doncic’s 42 triple-pointer.
Star guard Irving has been suspended for at least five games by the Nets after using social media to post a film that was widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
Despite missing five games, Nets coach Jack Vaughn said before Saturday’s game that Irving will not return to face the Lakers on Sunday.
“Obviously we miss (Irving) and we have to see where those points come from,” Durant said after the Nets opened their stay in Southern California with a hard-fought victory. as a group.”
Durant excelled on both ends of the earth, scoring 27 points with six rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
Reserve Seth Curry scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets finally put up a back-and-forth battle.
Durant, 34, is the first player to start a season with 13 consecutive games and score at least 25 points since Michael Jordan had 16 25-point games to open the 1988-89 season.
He made sure the Nets got over Irving’s absence, as well as the continued struggles of Ben Simmons, who came off the bench and scored just one basket.
Durant said defense was key to the win.
“We pinned our hat on staying in front of our man and having them fire big shots over us,” he said after Nets star Paul George held the Clippers to five of 12 and only 17 points.
Center Ivica Zubak scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and Marcus Morris added 13 points as the Clippers kept up the pressure until the Nets scored 18-2 late on.
“Although we didn’t make the shots (early), I felt like we were making good shots as well, so eventually they were going to start falling,” Durant said.
The defense has been a focus since Vaughn took over, following the sacking of Steve Nash this month – part of a turbulent period for the club that has included the uproar surrounding Irving.
While the potential date for seven-time Irving’s return remains unknown, his situation appears to be heading toward resolution after NBA commissioner Adam Silver and Nets owner Jo Tsai both said they had productive talks with the player.
In Dallas, Doncic broke out of his losing streak this week to record his third triple-double of the season, adding 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the Mavs’ 117-112 win over the Trail Blazers. .
The 23-year-old’s fourth triple-double was the 23-year-old’s 49ers to score at least 40 points.
His pitch slowed the Blazers’ surging performance, who won three in a row to finish second in the Western Conference. Damian Lillard led Portland with 29 points and 12 assists, but they felt the absence of injured quarterback Jusuf Nurkic.
Tatum Power Celtics
In Detroit, Jason Tatum scored 43 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Celtics overcame injured absences for second goalies Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, and Malcolm Brogdon in a 117–108 victory over the Pistons.
A tight first half ended with the Pistons leading by two points, but Tatum came back alive in the second half, scoring 28 points after the break.
Joel Embiid had a big night in Philadelphia, scoring 42 points on 10 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a 121-109 win over the Hawks, avenging a defeat in Atlanta on Thursday.
Elsewhere, the Miami Heat spoiled their season debut with LaMelo Ball with a resounding 132-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
The former soccer star of the year missed Charlotte’s first 13 games due to a sprained left ankle.
He scored 15 points in 28 minutes on the field, but the Hornets didn’t match the Miami team’s 31-point lead from Max Stross.
Read all files The latest sports news over here