DALLAS – James Harden played the entire fourth quarter of the Nets’ 102-99 win over the Mavericks on Tuesday night, while Kevin Durant gave him a better and played the entire second half.
Also, don’t expect to take off on Wednesday when the Nets play the second straight night in Houston.
“S – t, I could play 48 [against the Rockets]. Just because, ”Durant said. “Give everyone something to talk about. “
Harden recorded 41:35 on Tuesday and Durant played 40:30. Durant is averaging 36.2 minutes, more than three minutes above his average last season.
“I know people can be concerned about my minutes and I’ve been injured before and all that extra stuff. But we’ll find out if I get there, ”Durant said. “Right now I want to play basketball. “
After playing both ends of just three straight games last season, if Durant is playing in Houston he will have done so in all five straight games this season.
“One thing about me and KD, we love to play basketball. So it doesn’t matter,” Harden said.
“Corn [coach] Steve [Nash] has been in this position before, so he knows and makes sense to the game. When it’s time to go, you have to put your big dogs out there to win the game. Simple.”
Harden will have an added incentive to play on Wednesday: it will be his first game in Houston with a full crowd. Last season’s comeback, when Harden netted a triple-double in a victory on March 3, was marred by the pandemic. It will have added emotion.
“I stayed there for eight years. My whole family is there. I have a lot of things going on there. But just for me, obviously a lot of emotions, ”said Harden. “But for me, I’m trying to win. It’s about racking up as many wins as possible.
Nic Claxton recorded 8:57 p.m. Tuesday, by far his biggest action since returning from illness. He had six points, nine rebounds and was a plus-9, the team’s highest.
More importantly, he never left the field in the fourth quarter, despite having a plus-14 rating. The Nets were able to go from 1 to 5 in defense and finally figured out how to slow Dallas star Luka Doncic down. Getting away from the cover of the Falls clearly got the Mavericks out of sync.
Does Claxton think the Nets will bring in more commutation with him?
“I mean, we should. Teams don’t like it, especially when I’m going out and there’s nothing they can do with me, ”said Claxton. “I’m up there to guard, and it’s taking its toll. A lot of teams don’t just want to play a one-on-one game and when you change it like that, teams are going against the grain. “
The Nets (17-7) are half a game ahead of the Bulls at the top of the Eastern Conference. They are 9-2 on the road, the highest above .500 on the road they’ve been at any time during the season in franchise history.
New York Post