NEW ORLEANS (AP) — James Harden highlighted a 39-point, 12-assist performance with a game-sealing 27-foot 3-pointer with 29 seconds left, and the Brooklyn Nets rallied for a 120-112 victory over the reeling New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night after they’d blown a 21-point lead.
Kevin Durant scored 28 for the Nets, who’ve won seven of their last eight, and Joe Harris scored 24 after opening his night by hitting his first seven shots, including six from 3, to help hand the Pelicans their ninth straight loss.
Jonas Valanciunas, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds, gave the Pelicans a 104-101 lead with a putback dunk with 4:36 to go. At that point, New Orleans was on a 16-4 run that had the crowd on its feet, but Brooklyn’s Bruce Brown tied it with a corner 3 as the shot clock expired on a possession that seem to turn momentum back to the Nets.
Durant added an 11-foot turnaround and a 3, and Harris hit a floater off the glass before Harden’s decisive, straight-on 3 put it away.
The Nets led 90-69 on Durant’s 3 in the middle of the third quarter, but the Pelicans went on a 9-0 run shortly after that included 3s by Garrett Temple and Devante Graham and pulled New Orleans to 93-81 and set up a tense fourth quarter.
Temple scored a season-high 17 points for New Orleans, while Nickeil Alexander-Walker added 16 points and Graham had 16.
The Pelicans were able to keep the game competitive throughout the first half despite Alexander-Walker going to the bench with two fouls 15 seconds into the game and playing less than six minutes in the first half.
Temple picked up the slack with 14 first-half points including three 3-pointers, and Graham’s 3 pulled New Orleans to 64-59 late in the second quarter.
Harden’s free throws made it 66-59 at halftime.
Nets: Hit 12 of 18 3s in the first half before finishing 18 of 34 (52.9%) from deep. … Harden was 6 of 10 from deep and Harris finished 6 of 8. … Improved to 4-1 on their current six-game road trip. … Shot 50.6% overall (41 of 81) and scored 36 points in the paint.
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram missed his seventh straight game with a bruised hip after being listed as questionable until shortly before tip-off, but coach Willie Green indicated Ingram was nearing a return. “He’s still feeling better and better,” Green said, noting that Ingram went through a full shootaround and did some 1-on-1 work. “It’s promising.” … Committed 16 turnovers that led to 26 Nets points. … Shot 13 of 32 (40.6%) from 3. … Scored 50 points in the paint.
Nets: Visit Oklahoma City on Sunday to wrap up a six-game road trip.
Pelicans: Host Memphis on Saturday night before leaving town for two games.
Source: Yahoo Sports