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NBA ROUNDUP: Kyrie Irving drops 38 points in Nets’ stunning comeback win over the Warriors

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With the defense keying on Kyrie Irving, Royce O’Neale hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 28.5 seconds left, and the Nets capitalized on Golden State’s third straight game squandering a double-digit lead, beating the Warriors 120-116 on Sunday night. 

Following the sport, O’Neale walked gingerly onto the rostrum with an ice bag around each knee and reiterated the soaring confidence level among the many Brooklyn Nets even with star Kevin Durant on the sidelines nursing a knee injury. Taking down Stephen Curry and the defending NBA champions on their home floor sure doesn’t hurt.

‘Kyrie had been attending to the basket, hitting tough shots and at that moment, he drove, two people double-teamed and he found me open,’ O’Neale said. ‘I just needed to have the arrogance to knock it down.’

Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets goes to the basket against the Golden State Warriors

Golden State went ahead 106-93 on Klay Thompson’s jumper with 6:57 to play then the Nets outscored the Warriors 27-10 the remainder of the best way.

Curry’s two free throws with 1:12 remaining gave Golden State the lead moments after Irving’s three-point play put Brooklyn ahead, then Irving missed on the opposite end facing defensive pressure from Thompson. Irving missed one other try but Golden State got two more probabilities and each Curry and Kevon Looney missed with lower than a minute left.

On the winning play, Irving drove, was smothered and dished the ball off.

‘They did an ideal job of staying on my body, keeping the sport physical, making it tough,’ Irving said. ‘I felt like my teammates had a whole lot of great looks, drawing the defense, drawing two, three to lose their man. Royce being wide open, I felt like that was the very best shot for our team so I gave up the ball, trusted him to make it and fortunately it went in.’

Irving finished with 38 points, nine assists and 7 rebounds for a Nets team that won a second straight playing without Durant, who missed facing his former team after winning titles and NBA Finals MVP honors in 2017 and ´18 with Golden State.

Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Warriors

Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets dunks the ball in the primary quarter against the Warriors

Nic Claxton contributed profession highs of 24 points and 15 rebounds with three blocks because the Nets won two in a row following a four-game losing streak that followed Durant getting hurt.

‘It´s a whole lot of confidence going around, everybody´s taking the challenge, stepping up, checking out ways to win games,’ O’Neale said.

Irving shot 12 for 22 with five 3-pointers coming off a spectacular 48-point performance in a 117-106 road win at Utah on Friday night in Brooklyn’s first win since Durant sprained his right knee.

Curry had 26 points, seven assists and 6 rebounds.

Little brother Seth Curry´s layup with 2:29 left pulled Brooklyn inside 112-109 then Joe Harris tied it on a 3 the subsequent time down.

Jordan Poole added 17 points for the Warriors, who used a 39-point second quarter to take charge but couldn’t hold it.

Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) looks to pass away from defensive pressure by the Warriors

Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) looks to pass away from defensive pressure by the Warriors

‘You give a team like that some life, they’re really good,’ Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

Irving’s 3-pointer on the 6:55 mark of the third tied the sport and the Warriors led 90-86 heading into the ultimate 12 minutes.

O’Neale scored 11 of his 16 points with three 3-pointers in the primary quarter.

Donte DiVincenzo made all 4 of his 3-point tries in the primary half and the Warriors led 70-53 late within the second before a 7-0 Nets run got Brooklyn inside 72-60 on the break. DiVincenzo wound up with 13 points and eight assists and Jonathan Kuminga added 20 points in 25 minutes.

Poole stayed within the starting lineup in Looney’s place after scoring 30 or more points in two of the previous three games.

Looney had 14 points and 10 boards and Draymond Green nine points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists after Brooklyn whipped the Warriors 143-113 at home on Dec. 21 but without Curry and Thompson.

Thompson added 10 points as six Warriors scored in double figures.

Irving dribbles the ball in the first quarter against Stephen Curry as he nearly falls to the floor

Irving dribbles the ball in the primary quarter against Stephen Curry as he nearly falls to the ground

THUNDER 101, NUGGETS 99 

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander banked in a decisive 8-foot jumper with 9.2 seconds remaining and finished with 34 points because the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped Denver´s league-leading nine-game win streak and beat the Nuggets 101-99 Sunday night.

After Denver´s Zeke Nnaji hit two free throws to tie the sport at 99 with 30 seconds left, Gilgeous-Alexander got the ball out of a timeout and hit the mid-range jumper to offer the Thunder the lead. The Nuggets´ Jamal Murray missed a 14-foot shot in the ultimate seconds.

Oklahoma City´s victory ended the Nuggets´ 16-game home win streak – the franchise´s longest run in 10 years.

Josh Giddey had 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Thunder, who earned their seventh win in nine games.

Denver was without center Nikola Jokic, who missed his second straight game while coping with tightness in his left hamstring, and forward Michael Porter Jr., out as a result of personal reasons. Jamal Murray shouldered much of the offensive load, ending with a team-high 26 points and nine assists.

Oklahoma City Thunder players celebrate the win against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday

Oklahoma City Thunder players rejoice the win against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday

SUNS 112, GRIZZLIES 110

Chris Paul had 22 points and 11 assists in his return after missing seven games with a hip injury, leading Phoenix over Memphis.

The Suns had to carry on in the ultimate minutes after dominating a lot of the night.

Desmond Bane´s free throws cut the margin to 110-106 with 58.8 seconds left. After a Phoenix turnover, Ja Morant was fouled and made two more free throws to chop it to 110-108 with 28.6 seconds remaining. Phoenix forward Dario Saric hit two free throws after being fouled on the following possession and the Grizzlies finally ran out of time.

The Suns have won three straight, pushing back to .500 for the season. The Grizzlies have dropped two in a row after their 11-game winning streak was snapped by the Lakers on Friday.

Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 24 points, while Torrey Craig added a season high 20. Morant scored 27 for the Grizzlies, while Desmond Bane added 24.

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) runs away from Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12)

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) runs away from Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12)

LAKERS 121, TRAIL BLAZERS 112

LeBron James had 37 points and 11 rebounds, and Los Angeles rallied within the second half to beat Portland.

Thomas Bryant added 31 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who’ve won three of their last 4 after a three-game losing streak.

Anfernee Simons had 31 points for the Blazers, who’ve lost three straight. Damian Lillard added 24 points and 10 assists.

James was questionable going into the sport with a sore ankle but played. James is closing in on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar´s NBA scoring record of 38,387 points. James is 233 points away from matching the record after Sunday´s game.

LeBron James #6 of the Lakers dunks the ball during the game against the Trail Blazers

LeBron James #6 of the Lakers dunks the ball through the game against the Trail Blazers

HEAT 100, PELICANS 96

Tyler Herro scored 26 points, Kyle Lowry had nine straight for Miami in the ultimate moments and the Heat rallied to beat Recent Orleans.

Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler each scored 18 for Miami, which trailed by 16 in the primary half. Lowry scored 17 for the Heat, the last nine of those coming in a span of 1:42 down the stretch.

Trey Murphy III had 17 for Recent Orleans, which got 14 points and 16 rebounds from Jonas Valanciunas. CJ McCollum scored 13 and Larry Nance Jr. added 12 for for the Pelicans.

Recent Orleans´ twenty fifth turnover got here on a five-second violation with 15.1 seconds left, with the Heat up by two. The Heat needed two time-outs before they might get the ball inbounds, and wound up losing a jump ball anyway with 12.2 seconds remaining.

McCollum got a very good take a look at a 3-pointer on the following possession, however it rimmed out and Miami’s Victor Oladipo put the sport away with two free throws.

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives to the basket against Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr.

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) drives to the basket against Pelicans forward Larry Nance Jr.

CLIPPERS 112, MAVERICKS 98

Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 30 points, Paul George had 21 and Norman Powell added 19 off the bench to guide Los Angeles past Dallas.

Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 22 points and Spencer Dinwiddie had 21.

The Clippers won consecutive games for the primary time since Dec. 26-27, while the Mavericks have lost 4 of their last five games and 7 of 10.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard drives against Mavericks guard Luka Doncic

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard drives against Mavericks guard Luka Doncic

RAPTORS 125, KNICKS 116

Fred VanVleet scored 28 points, Gary Trent Jr. had 24 before fouling out and Toronto beat Recent York to finish a three-game losing streak.

Pascal Siakam scored 24 points, Scottie Barnes had 19 and Precious Achiuwa added 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who scored 26 points off 17 Recent York turnovers.

RJ Barrett scored 30 points and Julius Randle had 23 points and 19 rebounds because the Knicks lost their fourth straight. Jalen Brunson scored 21 points and Obi Toppin had 14.

Fred VanVleet #23 of the Raptors drives to the basket during the game against the Knicks

Fred VanVleet #23 of the Raptors drives to the basket through the game against the Knicks

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