Harden, KD chemistry already sparking Nets

2021-01-20 12:06:27

  Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks vie for possession during Monday's NBA game at Barclays Center in New York. Durant scored the go-ahead 3-pointer in the closing moments as the Nets won 125-123.  AFP NEW YORK-James Harden missed a jumper with a chance for the lead, tracked down the rebound and fired it out to a wide-open Kevin Durant. Plays like that are why the Brooklyn Nets will be such tough opponents after reuniting the multiple scoring champions. Even when teams stop one superstar, another might be there waiting. "This is what they do. They wake up, come to the game and they score 30," Giannis Antetokounmpo said. "If you're not aggressive and you're not locked in against them, they're going to score 50." Durant made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 36 seconds left, Harden had 34 points and 12 assists, and the Nets edged the Bucks 125-123 on Monday night. They are 2-0 since last week's acquisition of Harden, who is averaging 33 points and 13 assists in his new uniform. "We're still trying to find our way and we've still got room to improve, but it's a solid start," Durant said. Durant finished with 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists to give the Nets their fourth straight victory in a game in which two of the East's best went toe to toe right down to a tense finish that ended when Khris Middleton missed a potential winning 3-pointer from the corner. "It's a huge win for us," Harden said. "This is our second game together and we haven't had one practice." Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Milwaukee, which had its four-game winning streak stopped. Middleton added 25 points and Jrue Holiday had 22. Harden had 11 points at halftime following his 32-point Nets debut, when he added 14 assists and 12 rebounds. But he picked it up in the second half and contributed to the biggest play of the game. With the Nets trailing by one, he swooped in to grab the rebound of his own 3-pointer that was off and passed to Durant, who nailed the shot that made it 125-123. Durant could have put it away but turned it over on the Nets' next possession, but they held on when Middleton's shot was just off. Kyrie Irving missed his seventh straight game after leaving the team for personal reasons, with coach Steve Nash saying he could return Wednesday in Cleveland. Warriors stun Lakers Later on Monday, Stephen Curry scored 26 points as the Golden State Warriors rallied from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 115-113. "We kept our composure. The second unit was amazing both halves," Curry said. "We got some momentum in the second half to give us a chance and carry us down the stretch." The Lakers sprinted to a 19-point lead in the first quarter and dominated the first 42 minutes. LeBron James' 3-pointer gave the Lakers a 97-83 advantage early in the fourth before the Warriors battled back. They trailed 106-97 with 5:52 remaining before going on a 15-2 run that gave Golden State its first lead. Kelly Oubre Jr. had tied it at 108 with a driving layup and Draymond Green's layup with 2:40 remaining gave the Warriors their first lead of the night. James had a chance to win it at the end, but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Lakers had their five-game winning streak snapped. "I think we just had some tough breaks, some tough calls against us in the second half that slowed our pace down," said James, who finished with 19 points. "We couldn't get back into a rhythm." Agencies