Irving returns, but new-look Nets beaten by Cavs in 2 OTs
UNDATED (AP) — Kyrie Irving returned from his personal “pause” to score 37 points in his first game with Kevin Durant and James Harden but the new-look, star-studded Brooklyn Nets struggled and lost 147-135 in double overtime to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Collin Sexton scored 15 of his 42 points in the second OT — most of them over Irving — for the Cavs, who outplayed the Nets all night.
Sexton dropped two 3-pointers and fed Taurean Prince for another in a span of 55 seconds as Cleveland put Brooklyn away. Durant led Brooklyn with 38 points and Harden added 21 for the Nets.
Elsewhere in the NBA:
— Stephen Curry had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 121-99 while honoring new Vice President Kamala Harris and her Oakland roots. Rookie James Wiseman added 20 points, six rebounds and four assists and Draymond Green dished out six of the Warriors’ 31 assists. Golden State made it consecutive impressive wins after erasing a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter of a 115-113 road victory against the Lakers on Monday. Dejounte Murray scored 22 points to lead the Spurs, who had won the past three meetings with the Warriors and five of six.
— Deandre Ayton had season highs with 26 points and 17 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns beat the Houston Rockets 109-103 on Wednesday night to end a two-game skid. The Suns won for the first time since Jan. 9. Between the two losses, they had three games postponed because of health and safety protocols after playing at Washington. Devin Booker added 24 points for Phoenix. Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon had 22 points apiece for the Rockets. They have lost three of four since James Harden was traded to Brooklyn.
— Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points, Paul George added 19 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings 115-96 for their season-high fifth consecutive victory. The Clippers handed the Kings a 38-point loss at their place last Friday. A new week didn’t change anything. Sacramento dropped its fourth in a row and sixth of seven. The Kings were led by De’Aaron Fox with 25 points. The Clippers broke the game open with 34 points in the third quarter, when they had scoring runs of 9-0 and 13-0.
— Cole Anthony hit a hurried 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Orlando Magic stunned the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-96 to stop a six-game losing streak. Nikola Vucevic (NEE’-koh-lah VOOCH’-uh-vihch) had 28 points and eight rebounds for Orlando. Evan Fournier (FOHR’-nee-ay) added 24 points in his return to the lineup after missing nine games with lower back spasms. Minnesota led by 20 before the Magic slowly chipped away in the second half. Jarred Vanderbilt missed a pair of free throws with a chance to ice the game for the Timberwolves.
— Joel Embiid had 42 points and 10 rebounds and Tobias Harris scored 22 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 117-109 win over the Boston Celtics. Embiid is off to the best start of his career and topped 40 points for the second time in three games. He made 12 of 19 from the floor and was 17 of 21 from the free-throw line. He did it in 34 minutes and scored 20 points in a half for the fifth time this season. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 26 points and Marcus Smart had 25.
— Kendrick Nunn scored 28 points and the injury-plagued Miami Heat pulled away in the second half for a 111-102 win over the Toronto Raptors. Bam Adebayo had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for Miami and Kelly Olynyk added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Nunn had scored just 33 points all season before his 18-point game on Monday night. He came off the bench in this one and shot 9 of 12 and had eight rebounds in 35 minutes. Fred VanVleet had 24 points and nine assists for the Raptors whose three-game winning streak ended.
— Trae Young scored 38 points, John Collins had 31 and the Atlanta Hawks rallied to beat Jerami Grant and the Detroit Pistons 123-115 in overtime. Grant had a career-high 32 points, including all of Detroit’s nine points in overtime, to continue his hot start to the season. Clint Capela had 27 points and a career-high 26 rebounds for Atlanta. Young scored 21 points in the third period, when Atlanta charged back after trailing by 14 points. The Pistons have the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
— Kristaps Porzingis posted season-high totals of 27 points and 12 rebounds, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 124-112 victory at Indiana. Dallas was in control most of the game as it snapped a three-game losing streak against the short-handed Pacers. Malcolm Brogdon finished with 26 points and Domantis Sabonis had 25 points in Indiana’s first game with fans in the stands. Dallas took the lead for good on the final basket of the third quarter and pulled away with an 11-4 run in the fourth.