NBA: Top scorer Durant pours in 34 as under-manned Nets beat Sixers

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Kevin Durant finished with 34 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the short-handed Brooklyn Nets beat Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers 114-105 on Thursday (Dec 16) in New York.

Durant, who is the league’s leading scorer, delivered a four-point play with 1min 46sec remaining and the game tied.

The first-place Nets were missing seven players because of Covid-19, leaving them with just nine players available for the game, played in front of a crowd of 17,000 at Barclays Center arena.

It was Brooklyn’s second straight game without starters James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre’ Bembry, along with reserves Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap, Jevon Carter and James Johnson.

Blake Griffin and Nic Claxton each tallied a season-high 17 points while Patty Mills scored 14 as Brooklyn won their fourth straight.

The Nets had just eight players available for Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. Brooklyn is being forced to implement a hardship exception to try and add players to the roster.

Embiid had 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the 76ers’ third straight loss. Seth Curry scored 29 points. Embiid was averaging 27 points coming into Thursday’s contest.

The game was similar to Brooklyn’s 114-109 win over the Sixers in October when Durant earned a triple-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists.

In Indianapolis, Caris LeVert tallied a season-high 31 points as the Indiana Pacers handed the Detroit Pistons their 13th consecutive loss 122-113.

Justin Holiday had 17 points, while Myles Turner contributed 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Indiana.

Chris Duarte supplied 15 points, nine rebounds and four assists, Domantas Sabonis added 12 points and Jeremy Lamb scored 11 points.

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