Kyrie Irving hit a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer and the Brooklyn Nets rallied to beat the Toronto Raptors 119-116 on Friday night, extending their winning streak to a season-high five.
Irving scored 15 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, eluding Toronto’s Fred VanVleet to connect on the decisive basket – the first game-winning buzzer-beater of his NBA career.
‘Honestly, I was thinking basket,’ Irving said. ‘I saw Juancho (Hernangomez) come over a little bit earlier so I decided to pull it back and took my time, got my balance underneath me.’
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) and guard Fred VanVleet (23) watch as Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) sinks the winning basket at the buzzer
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said he planned to give Kevin Durant the ball for the final shot, but Durant convinced Vaughn to let Irving shoot instead.
‘He was already cooking so I didn’t want to get in his way,’ Durant said of Irving. ‘I felt like he could get whatever he wanted there. I also felt like they weren’t going to run and double him, either. They let him play 1-on-1 and it was a special, special shot.’
It was Brooklyn’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since Brook Lopez hit one in a home victory over Detroit on March 21, 2017.
Vaughn said Irving has the right personality for such a high-pressure shot.
Irving shoots while being guarded by Raptors small forward Scottie Barnes during second half
‘He definitely has an inner peace and poise that you have to have in that situation to not panic,’ Vaughn said. ‘And he has an innate ability to get to his spot. He wanted to rise up, he created space with balance.’
Irving said competitive desire, not comfort, is his main driver.
‘I’m not really comfortable, I just want to be great in those situations,’ he said. ‘I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded.’
A disappointed VanVleet said Irving deserved credit for his cold-blooded basket.
‘He’s the best in the world at that right there,’ VanVleet said. ‘You have to salute him.’
Kevin Durant dunks in the second half en route to scoring 26-points in win against Toronto
Durant scored 26 points and Nic Claxton had 15 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six blocks as the Nets overcame an 18-point deficit to sweep the season series from Toronto for the first time since 2002-03.
VanVleet matched his season high with 39 points. Scottie Barnes had 26 and Pascal Siakam added 17 as the struggling Raptors lost their season-worst fourth straight.
Yuta Watanabe scored 17 points for the Nets against his former team, including a go-ahead 3 with 14 seconds left. Ben Simmons and T.J. Warren each had 10 points for Brooklyn, which has won nine of 10.
Toronto’s O.G. Anunoby sat out for the third straight game because of a sore left hip, while guard Gary Trent Jr. was not available because of a sore left quad.
Irving (obscured) is embraced by teammates after hitting the winning basket against Raptors
KNICKS 114, BULLS 91
RJ Barrett scored 27 points and New York again used three-point shooting to beat Chicago, sweeping the two-game set to run their winning streak to six.
Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes each added 22 points to help the Knicks follow their 128-120 overtime victory over the Bulls on Wednesday night. New York, which entered 26th in the NBA in three-point shooting, was 17 for 44 on 3s after going 18 of 34 two nights earlier.
Brunson made a career-high six shots on nine attempts from beyond the arc, Grimes was 5 of 9 from long-range and Barrett went 3 of 5.
Julius Randle had 19 points and 12 rebounds for New York.
Zach LaVine had 17 points for Chicago. The Bulls have lost three straight.
New York Knicks’ RJ Barrett (9) goes up for a shot against Chicago Bulls’ Colby White (0)
LAKERS 126, NUGGETS 108
The Los Angeles Lakers rebounded from a loss to the Boston Celtics by defeating the Nuggets 126-108 despite Anthony Davis not playing in the second half.
Davis injured his right foot and is expected to undergo an MRI, although the damage is not thought to be severe.
LeBron James became the oldest player since Michael Jordan to score 30 points or more in three straight games.
Thomas Bryant also made a surprising contribution off the bench by scoring 21-points and Russell Westbrook also recorded a triple-double in his customary sixth man role.
LeBron James (6) of the LA Lakers drives to the basket during the game against the Nuggets
MAGIC 117, CELTICS 109
Moritz Wagner scored 25 points and Paolo Banchero added 20 as the Orlando Magic beat the NBA-leading Boston Celtics 117-109 on Friday night.
Franz Wagner scored 19 points to help Orlando win its fifth straight game. The Magic outrebounded the Celtics 53-38 and held the lead for the final 37 minutes.
Jayson Tatum scored 31 points and Jaylen Brown had 26 for Boston. The Celtics dropped to 22-8 with their third loss in four games.
Boston’s Robert Williams played in his first game since the NBA Finals after undergoing surgery on his left knee during the preseason. He had nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
Moritz Wagner of the Orlando Magic dunks as Grant Williams of the Boston Celtics looks on
76ERS 118, WARRIORS 106
Joel Embiid had 34 points and 13 rebounds, James Harden added 27 points and nine assists and Philadelphia beat short-handed Golden State.
Stephen Curry sat out for Golden State two nights after injuring his left shoulder in a loss at Indiana. Draymond Green (right quadriceps contusion) and Andrew Wiggins (strained right adductor) also missed the game, while Klay Thompson played through soreness in his left knee to score 12 points. He was 4 of 17 from the field, missing 10 in a row at one point.
De’Anthony Melton had 17 points and seven assists for Philadelphia. The 76ers improved to 16-12, opening a seven-game homestand with four straight victories.
Jordan Poole led the defending champion Warriors with 29 points. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17 points in his return to the arena where he played in college at Villanova, and Kevon Looney had 14 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Golden State dropped to 2-14 on the road and 14-15 overall.
Embiid has scored 30 or more points in six straight games and 11 of 12.
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks during the fourth quarter against the Warriors
CAVALIERS 118, PACERS 112
Donovan Mitchell scored 18 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter and Cleveland overcame a 13-point deficit to beat Indiana.
Mitchell made his eighth 3-pointer of the game with 3:41 remaining, putting Cleveland ahead for good at 112-110.
The Cavaliers outscored the Pacers 35-18 in the final period, holding Indiana without a field goal in the final 5:42. Cleveland improved to 13-2 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, tying Memphis for the best home record in the NBA.
Darius Garland had 20 points and 10 assists, and Evan Mobley finished with 16 points and nine assists for the Cavaliers. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored 22 points off the bench to lead Indiana.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell looks to shoot against Pacers guard Buddy Hield
MAVERICKS 130, TRAIL BLAZERS 110
Luka Doncic scored 33 points, Christian Wood had a season-high 32 points along with 12 rebounds and Dallas beat Portland,
Two of Dallas’ top three scorers each had 20 before halftime – the NBA scoring leader Doncic with 23 to 20 for Wood – and combined to make 22 of 35 from the field as Dallas shot 56%.
Damian Lillard also had 20 before the break with 21, but finished with 24 to end a four-game streak of at least 35 points that was tied for the longest in the NBA this season with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid.
The Mavericks ended the Blazers’ three-game winning streak while beating Portland for the sixth consecutive time.
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (77) and Christian Wood (35) celebrate after the Mavericks score
KINGS 122, PISTONS 113
Domantas Sabonis had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Sacramento used a dominant performance from its starters to beat Detroit.
Sacramento´s starting five outscored Detroit´s 99-66. De´Aaron Fox had 24 points and nine assists for the Kings, and Keegan Murray added 20 points.
Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 22 points and rookie Jalen Duran added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Domantas Sabonis of the Sacramento Kings drives to the basket against the Detroit Pistons
HAWKS 125, HORNETS 106
Trae Young scored 31 points, Bogdan Bogdanovic had 28 points on 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range and depleted Atlanta handed Charlotte its seventh straight loss.
AJ Griffin had 13 points and Frank Kaminsky added 12 for the Hawks. They shot 63% in the first half and built a 24-point lead.
LaMelo Ball had 27 points on seven 3-pointers in his second game back from an ankle injury for the Hornets. They are an NBA-worst 7-22.
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) shoots over Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee (24)
TIMBERWOLVES 112, THUNDER 110
Naz Reid scored a season-high 28 points and short-handed Minnesota beat Oklahoma City to snap a three-game losing streak.
Austin Rivers scored 20 points and Anthony Edwards added 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Timberwolves. Minnesota was without injured starters Rudy Gobert (sprained left ankle), Karl-Anthony Towns (right calf strain) and D´Angelo Russell (bruised left knee).
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 35 points for Oklahoma City. The Thunder have lost five in a row.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) goes to the basket in front of guard Josh Giddey