Kyrie Irving scored 19 of his 29 points in the third quarter, Nic Claxton had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 112-98 on Wednesday night.
Toronto held Kevin Durant to 12 points but still lost to the Nets for the fifth time in seven meetings after winning 21 of the previous 25.
Durant scored his 26,074th career point in the third quarter, passing Kevin Garnett (26,071) for 18th place on the NBA´s all-time list.
Kyrie Irving scored scored 19 of his 29 points in the third quarter as the Nets beat the Raptors
Royce O´Neale made a career-high five 3-pointers and scored 15 points, and Ben Simmons had 14 for the Nets, who bounced back after losing Tuesday at depleted Philadelphia, which was missing Joel Embiid and James Harden.
‘We´re in the business of winning,’ Irving said. ‘We´ll take this one, especially after last night´s loss, and the whole internet going up in an uproar in terms of how embarrassed we should be, which is true. We just wanted to make sure we paid attention to detail tonight. We came out and responded.’
Brooklyn has won three of four, including two of three since Irving returned from a suspension for tweeting a link to an antisemitic film.
The Nets shot 17 for 38 from 3-point range, a season high for made 3-pointers. The Raptors finished 7 for 29 from distance, matching their fewest made 3-pointers of the season.
Gary Trent Jr. scored 19 points and Chris Boucher had 12 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for the Raptors. O.G. Anunoby scored 15 points and Thad Young had 12.
Irving celebrates a basket against during the second half of action against the Toronto Raptors
Toronto had 10 healthy players, with regulars Scottie Barnes (left knee) and Fred VanVleet (non-COVID illness) joining All-Star Pascal Siakam (strained right adductor) on the sidelines.
‘We feel like we could have played better,’ Anunoby said. ‘We don´t make the injuries an excuse.’
Irving scored 26 points in the second half, the highest-scoring half by a Nets player this season. He attempted just three shots in the first half, making one.
‘It doesn´t take too much,’ Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said of Irving. ‘He´s gifted, talented, and can score on any court. He got a couple to go his way and once that happens, off you go.’
With the Nets ahead 52-51 at halftime, Irving connected on his first seven field-goal attempts in the third.
‘That´s what we want him to do,’ Simmons said. ‘Just be himself, have that confidence to come out and take those shots and be who he is. He´s an incredible player, incredible teammate.’
Brooklyn took a 91-76 lead into the fourth.
Irving had two higher-scoring halves last season. He scored 41 in the first half at Orlando on March 15, finishing with 60 points. That came one week after Irving scored 30 in the second half at Charlotte, finishing with 50 against the Hornets.
Irving (11) of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the hoop during the second half against the Raptors
CELTICS 125, MAVERICKS 112
Jayson Tatum had 37 points and 13 rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 31 points on Wednesday night to help the NBA-best Boston Celtics bounce back from a rare loss and beat the Dallas Mavericks.
The Celtics, who have a league-leading 14 wins, had won nine straight before losing to the Bulls on Monday.
Luka Doncic scored 42 points for the Mavericks, who had beaten Boston four straight times. Three of the wins came on a 3-pointer in the final seconds, and two of those were with no time at all on the clock.
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives past Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7)
NUGGETS 131, Thunder 126
Nikola Jokic scored 39 points, Aaron Gordon added 30 and Bruce Brown had a triple-double to help the depleted Denver Nuggets outlast the Oklahoma City Thunder in overtime Wednesday night.
Brown had 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Playing without starters Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., Jokic took it upon himself to dominate the opening period, hitting all five of his shots and scoring 14 points as the Nuggets took a 17-point lead into the second.
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) shoots over Thunder forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
HAWKS 115, KINGS 106
Trae Young scored 35 points, Clint Capela added 11 points and 14 rebounds, and the Atlanta Hawks snapped the Sacramento Kings’ seven-game winning streak with a 115-106 victory Wednesday night.
Young had 10 points in the third, including a straightaway 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 97-86 lead, and his 27-foot 3 made it 110-97 with 3:58 left in the game and brought a huge roar from the crowd as the Kings never really threatened the rest of the way.
Young iced it with a 3 inside the final minute to make it 113-102.
Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks dribbles down the court against the Sacramento Kings
HORNETS 107, 76ERS 101
Terry Rozier scored nine of his 22 points in the final five minutes and the Charlotte Hornets rallied to beat the Philadelphia 76ers in a matchup of injury-riddled teams.
Charlotte, which trailed by 13 points in the first half, won for only the second time in 13 games and ended a three-game skid.
Philadelphia was playing without three starters — Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey — but got strong efforts from Shake Milton, De’Anthony Melton, Montrezl Harrell and Tobias Harris.
Milton had 22 points, Melton 20, Harris 19 and Harrell 16 for Philadelphia. Harrell was playing in Charlotte for the first time since that franchise allowed him to leave via free agency last summer.
The Hornets were missing starting guard LaMelo Ball and top reserve Cody Martin, and lost guard Dennis Smith Jr. in the second quarter to left ankle sprain.
Terry Rozier of the Charlotte Hornets attempts a shot against the Philadelphia 76ers
HEAT 113, WIZARDS 105
Kyle Lowry scored 24 of his 28 points in the first half, Tyler Herro made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and the Miami Heat snapped a four-game slide by beating the Washington Wizards.
Caleb Martin scored 24 points and Herro finished with 17 in his first game back following an eight-game absence with a sprained ankle.
Bam Adebayo added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, which trailed briefly in the fourth quarter after building a 17-point halftime lead.
Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points for the Wizards. Kristaps Porzingis scored 21, Will Barton had 13 and Deni Avdija finished with 12 for the Wizards, who had won six of seven
Kyle Lowry (7) brings the ball up the court in the first half against the Washington Wizards
CAVALIERS 114, TRAIL BLAZERS 96
Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points and Jarrett Allen had a season-high 24 points and 13 rebounds in Cleveland’s victory over Portland.
Darius Garland had 24 points and 12 assists to help Cavaliers complete a 4-0 homestand and improve to 12-6.
Jusuf Nurkic had 22 points and six rebounds for Portland. The Trail Blazers have lost four straight.
Portland guard Damian Lillard missed his second game in a row because of a strained right lower leg.
Donovan Mitchell (45) of the Cleveland Cavaliers brings the ball up court against Portland
TIMBERWOLVES 114, PACERS 101
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 23 points — nine of them in a row in a key third-quarter run — and Minnesota beat Indiana.
Minnesota has won five in a row, four of them on the road, to improve to 10-8. Indiana had a five-game winning streak snapped to drop to 10-7.
Rudy Gobert had 21 points and 16 rebounds for Minnesota. Myles Turner led Indianapolis with 31 points, hitting seven 3s.
Karl-Anthony Towns (32) of the Minnesota Timberwolves dunks the ball in the third quarter
PELICANS 129, SPURS 110
New Orleans forward Zion Williamson is starting to feel like his self again. San Antonio can attest to that.
Williamson had a season-high 32 points along with 11 rebounds and the Pelicans never trailed while handing the Spurs their sixth straight loss, 129-110 on Wednesday night.
Williamson, who missed all of last season following surgery to repair a fractured right foot, has had two consecutive solid outings. He was limited to nine points in a 128-83 victory over Golden State on Monday night, but his defensive effort was key.
‘Williamson was 14 for 18 from the field while scoring 28 points in the paint
Zion Williamson (1) celebrates with Jose Alvardo after scoring against the San Antonio Spurs
BULLS 118, BUCKS 113
DeMar DeRozan had 36 points and eight assists, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 118-113 on Wednesday night.
Chicago began the week with a 6-10 record but has now beaten the NBA’s top two teams. The Bulls ended Boston’s nine-game winning streak on Monday.
Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic scored 18 points apiece for Chicago, and Coby White finished with 14 points.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 36 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Bucks, who lost for just the second time in 11 home games this season. Brook Lopez scored 20 points and Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 11 assists.
Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) shoots against Bucks’ Wesley Matthews (23)
PISTONS 125, JAZZ 116
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points and Kevin Knox II had a season-high 21 points, including a career-best six 3-pointers, to boost the Detroit Pistons to their second straight road win, over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Marvin Bagley III scored a season-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting and Alec Burks added 18 points.
The Pistons had lost seven in a row overall and 10 straight on the road before beating Denver on Tuesday, their first away victory this season. Despite playing back-to-back, the Pistons were quicker to the loose balls and seemed to grab all the 50-50 rebounds.
Malik Beasley led Utah with 29 points and a season-high eight 3s while Jordan Clarkson had 24 points and Collin Sexton, starting for the injured Mike Conley (knee), set a career high with 11 assists.
Bojan Bogdanovic (44) shoots against Utah Jazz forward Jarred Vanderbilt (8)
WARRIORS 124, CLIPPERS 107
Andrew Wiggins scored a season-high 31 points, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers during a key stretch midway through the third quarter, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.
Wiggins shot 12 for 18 and matched his most 3-pointers this season with six in his third straight 20-point performance.
Stephen Curry added 22 points, nine assists and six rebounds, while Klay Thompson scored 18 points. He hit his first three shots and two 3-pointers and four of his initial five shots on the way to 15 points in the opening quarter. After a one-handed slam in transition late in the first, he raised both arms to get the crowd going as he ran back on defense.