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The Brooklyn Nets moved relief into sole possession of first characteristic in the Jap Conference with a 139-111 victory over the Unique Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at Barclays Heart. With the Philadelphia 76ers slothful, Brooklyn took a half of-sport lead over their Atlantic Division rival looking out for No. 1 seed.
Nets star Kevin Durant posted 17 parts without missing a shot in his return from a hamstring harm. It turned into the dinky forward’s first time on the court since posting 20 parts in 33 minutes in opposition to the Golden Deliver Warriors on Feb. 13. But Brooklyn’s Huge Three turned into aloof missing a key cog with guard James Harden sidelined by his possess hamstring danger for at least 10 days.
That did no longer hassle the Nets (36-16) on Wednesday as they took down an equally quick-handed Pelicans team (22-29) playing its second sport in as many nights after falling to the Atlanta Hawks on the boulevard Tuesday.
Kevin Durant, SF, Brooklyn Nets: 17 parts, 7 rebounds, 5 assists
Kyrie Irving, PG, Brooklyn Nets: 24 parts, 6 assists, 2 rebounds
Eric Bledsoe, SG, Unique Orleans Pelicans: 26 parts, 5 rebounds, 1 assists
Zion Williamson, PF, Unique Orleans Pelicans: 16 parts, 6 assists, 4 rebounds
Durant’s Supreme Return
The Brooklyn Nets did no longer compromise on their stance to expend issues sluggish with Durant’s hamstring harm even after the star participant turned into cleared to map on Wednesday.
Malika Andrews @malika_andrews
On the commence, Durant had been listed as a starter for Brooklyn tonight. In the ruin, no longer starting up aids the team in managing Durant’s minutes restriction. It’s miles upright the second time in his profession that Durant hasn’t began in a sport. https://t.co/CGEpSiqum9
Head coach Steve Nash saved Durant out of the starting up lineup in an are trying to greater arrange his minutes and archaic the additional time on the sidelines to permit the forward to proceed warming up. After receiving treatment in the locker room and returning to the bench in the second quarter, Durant at final took the bottom with 7: 37 left in the necessary half of.
It turned into well rate the wait for Nets fans.
Durant knocked down his first shot—a mid-fluctuate jumper—nearly straight away after taking the bottom and wouldn’t omit a shot for the relaxation of the evening. After posting nine parts in 8 minutes to discontinuance out the necessary half of, Durant ramped issues up further following the intermission.
Durant began the third quarter and made it conceivable so the relaxation of the reserves can even address the fourth as he began drilling three-pointers and meting out assists.
Durants remaining line: 5-of-5 from the field, 5-of-5 from the free throw line, 2-of-2 from three-level fluctuate with seven rebounds, 5 assists and one block.
The forward ought to ought to shake off pretty more rust before he is playing 40 minutes per evening and controlling the scoring, nonetheless there were rarely any concerns with his performance on Wednesday because the Nets coasted to a straightforward victory in the forward’s return.
Pelicans Give Up Three-Point Barrage Over again
There will not be any longer any rely on of it be been a rough stretch for the Pelicans no longer too lengthy in the past.
Brandon Ingram, Kira Lewis Jr., Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart are all nursing tons of accidents, Lonzo Ball continues to wrestle with facilitating on offense and the time table is no longer if reality be told doing the team many favors.
But that doesn’t affect it any less complicated to glimpse the Pelicans backcourt secure shredded on protection.
One evening after the Atlanta Hawks torched Unique Orleans by going 20-of-31 from in the help of the arc on Tuesday—in conjunction with an 11-of-11 stretch from deep in the third quarter—the Pelicans allowed the Nets to have an effect on 19-of-41 three-pointers in a single more rout.
Unique Orleans, in the period in-between, sank upright 6-of-27 shots from in the help of the arc.
The Pelicans were tied with the Sacramento Kings for the worst three-level protection (39.3 percent allowed) before their matchup with the Nets. They’re doubtless to expend sole possession of that stat after one more abysmal showing on Wednesday.
Things obtained so out of hand in Brooklyn that neither Ball, Zion Williamson or Eric Bledsoe played bigger than 29 minutes. The trio sat for the majority of the fourth quarter as Brooklyn took a 115-82 lead into the remaining physique.
That ended in Williamson failing to put up at least 20 parts for the necessary time in 26 strange season video games. If the Pelicans can’t sluggish down groups from deep in a three-level-happy league, losses adore Wednesday’s will remain all too frequent.
The Nets host the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers at Barclays Heart on Saturday at 8: 30 p.m. ET on ABC in the second and remaining assembly between the golf equipment in the strange season. Brooklyn won the necessary sport, 109-98, on Feb. 18. The Pelicans, in the period in-between, return home for a sport in opposition to the 76ers on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.