Nets’ Big 3 go from way off to off and running in Game 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn’s Big Three went from way off to off and running.
Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Nets recovered from their superstars’ frigid start to beat the Boston Celtics 104-93 on Saturday night in Game 1 of the first-round series.
James Harden finished with 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in just the ninth appearance of the season for the trio. The three combined to go 0 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half, then stormed out of the locker room with an 18-4 run to open the third and swing the lead the Nets’ way for good.
Durant, Irving and Harden scored 28 of the Nets’ 31 points in the period, with Joe Harris — who made Brooklyn’s only 3-pointer of the first half — hitting another for the other points.
Harris had 10 points for the Nets, who announced a sellout crowd of 14,391 and host Game 2 on Tuesday night.
Jayson Tatum scored 22 points, but shot just 6 for 20 and couldn’t come to his 50-point effort in the play-in tournament, when Boston beat Washington to earn the No. 7 seed.
Durant, Harden and Irving were a combined 5 for 20 in the first quarter and the Nets missed all nine 3-point attempts in the period.
BUCKS 109, HEAT 107, OT
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Khris Middleton broke a tie with a jumper with 0.5 seconds left in overtime and had 27 points to help Milwaukee beat Miami in Game 1.
Middleton was closely guarded by Duncan Robinson on the 19-footer.
Miami’s Goran Dragic had tied it with a corner 3-pointer with 20.6 seconds left in OT. After Middleton’s shot, Jrue Holiday blocked a 3-point attempt from Jimmy Butler as the buzzer sounded.
Game 2 is Monday night in Milwaukee. Miami beat Milwaukee 4-1 in the second round last year and went on to reach the NBA Finals.
Butler forced overtime by making a buzzer-beating driving layup past Giannis Antetokounmpo, whose free-throw woes prevented the Bucks from putting the game away earlier.
Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, but was just 6 of 13 on free-throw attempts. Over the last 1:06 of regulation, Antetokounmpo was 2 of 5 from the line and had a 10-second violation that prevented him from getting another free-throw attempt.
Holiday had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks.
Dragic scored 25 points, Robinson had 24 and Butler added 17 for the Heat. Butler also had 10 rebounds and eight assists.
MAVERICKS 113, CLIPPERS 103
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 31 points and the Dallas beating Los Angeles in Game 1.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points and Dorian Finney-Smith had 18 for the Mavs. Doncic and Hardaway Jr. made five 3-pointers each, and Finney-Smith had four to help Dallas shoot 47% from long-range.
Kawhi Leonard had 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, and Paul George added 23 points. But they were a combined 3 of 14 on 3-pointers and the Clippers shot 31% after leading the NBA at 41% during the regular season.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at Staples Center.
TRAIL BLAZERS 123, NUGGETS 109
DENVER (AP) — Damian Lillard scored 34 points and led Portland’s 3-point barrage that sparked the win over Denver in the opener of the first-round playoff series.
The Blazers hit 19 of 40 shots from beyond the arc, and Lillard, sporting silver sneakers that were a fitting choice for his sterling performance, had five of them.
Subs Carmelo Anthony and Anfernee Simons added four each as the Blazers outscored Denver by 24 points from beyond the arc.
CJ McCollum added 21 points and Anthony scored 18 in his first playoff game against the team that drafted him 18 years ago.
MVP favorite Nikola Jokic led Denver with 34 points, and Michael Porter Jr. chipped in 25. Aaron Gordon added 16.
Game 2 in the series is Monday night.
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