Led by two former league MVPs Kevin Durant and James Harden, the Eastern Conference leader Brooklyn Nets (17–7) came back from a 17-point deficit to win 102–99 against the Dallas Mavericks (11–12) on Tuesday night. The Nets shot 50.6 percent and won their 15th in their last 19 games.
Durant shot 10–22 from the field with one three, seven rebounds, and three assists; he led the Nets in the comeback in the fourth quarter scoring 11 points.
“It’s a character win where you just want to make the right plays to get back in the game and you want to turn the momentum to your side,” said Durant. “I think we did that tonight.”
The other half of the duo, Harden, scored 23 points on 7–13 shooting, 3–6 from three, nine rebounds, and 12 assists.
“We’ve been in this league long enough to know it’s winning time. It’s go time,” said Harden. “Throughout the course of the game, I feel like we got good shots. We just missed them. We just kept sticking with it and kept sticking with it. You’ve got to just keep shooting, especially if that’s what you do.”
LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 15 points, James Johnson added 12, and Patty Mills had 10 points for the Nets.
Luka Doncic led all scorers with 28 points, from 9–21 shooting, six rebounds, and nine assists; he missed Saturday’s game due to extreme ankle pain, and is still bothered by a knee injury.
Dallas has now lost its fifth straight home game and eight out of their last 10 games; the Mavs shot 40 percent, including missing 37 of 46 3-point attempts.
Dallas Kristaps Porzingis scored 17 points on 6–17, and also added 12 rebounds and five assists.
The Mavericks dominated the first half, leading 27–21 after the first quarter, and went to halftime with a 62–50 lead after Doncic banked in a three-pointer with two seconds on the clock.
At 7:30 in the third quarter, Dallas increased the lead to 71–54 with a three-pointer by Porzingis and ended the quarter with a 86–75 lead.
Brooklyn then outscored Dallas 27–13 in the fourth quarter as Durant went 5–6 shooting.
The Nets continued to chip away and began the fourth quarter with a 10–2 run, gettting within three, 88–85, on a three-pointer by Mills with 9:33 left.
Harden hit two free throws that gave Brooklyn its first lead, 91–90, with 6:41 remaining in the game.
Doncic missed five straight shots until the 5:36 mark, when he hit a three-pointer to give Dallas a 94–93.
The Mavericks then went up 97–95 with Doncic’s floater with 3:51 remaining, but Mills made a three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 98–97 at 2:48.
Harden then beat Doncic on a one-on-one layup, giving Brooklyn their biggest lead at 100–97 with 1:23 remaining.
Durant then hit a 14-foot fadeaway from the left wing, over Dorian Finney-Smith, and gave the Nets a 102–99 lead at the 1:01 mark.
Tim Hardaway Jr. missed an opportunity to cut the lead for Dallas with a floater in the lane with 41.6 seconds left.
After the Nets Nic Claxton missed two free throws with 20.7 seconds remaining, the Mavericks had two more shots to tie the game.
Doncic missed a three-pointer with 15.7 seconds remaining. He admitted post-game that his conditioning still needs improvement following the injuries and a long summer relaxing after the Olympics.
Porzingis was able to grab the rebound and give Hardaway a last-second shot with 0.7 seconds remaining, but the shot was too strong hitting the back of the rim.
“We had a lot of open looks there in the fourth quarter that just didn’t go down,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “And then Timmy has a wide-open look. You couldn’t ask for a better look to tie up the game.”
The Mavericks will play the second of a back-to-back Wednesday at Memphis.
The Nets will also play the second game of a back-to-back, on a four-game road trip, at Houston on Wednesday.