After being on the bench for a stretch of three games, Kevin Durant made a smooth 33 point comeback for the Brooklyn Nets, which glided over the Phoenix Suns with a 128-119 victory.
Durant came off the bench early in the second quarter and showed little rust after being out with a thigh injury. In 28 minutes of playing time, Durant shot 12-of-21 from the floor in a Sunday afternoon clash between two of the best teams in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving scored a team-high 34 points, going 30-plus for the 15th time this season, and Blake Griffin finished with 16 for Brooklyn, who improved to 41-20 for a one-and-a-half game lead over the second-place Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference standings, reported AFP.
Jeff Green and Joe Harris scored 10 points each for the Nets, while DeAndre Jordan had 12 rebounds in front of the pandemic-limited crowd of 1,700 at Barclays Center arena.
Devin Booker scored 36 points for Phoenix, while Deandre Ayton scored 20 points with 13 rebounds, as the Suns lost two straight for the first time since late January.
Torrey Craig tallied 20 points while point guard Chris Paul was held to just 14 points on five of 11 shooting.
Phoenix, second in the West behind the Utah Jazz, dropped to 42-18 and are now 2-2 on a five-game East coast road trip with another contest on Monday against the red-hot New York Knicks, who have won nine straight.
Brooklyn, who were without injured James Harden for the 10th straight game, outscored the Suns 31-27 in the final quarter after trailing by as many as 13 in the second period. They have won six of 10 games with Harden out of the lineup, reported AFP.
The game continued to be double-edged till the end of the third quarter, when the scoreboard showed Nets’ lead by just five points. However, Durant stepped up and scored a three-pointer right after the final quarter commenced while the team managed to retain lead over the opposition.