NBA: Surging Nets beat Bucks for eighth straight win
Kyrie Irving came alive in the fourth quarter when he scored 14 of his 18 points as the Brooklyn Nets fended off a comeback attempt by the Milwaukee Bucks and extended the NBA’s longest active winning streak to eight games with a 118-100 victory on Friday night in New York.
The eight-game run matches the longest for the Nets since they moved to Brooklyn ahead of the 2012-13 season.
Facing the NBA’s best team, the Nets won for the 12th time in 13 games and improved to 10-1 in their past 11 home games. Brooklyn led for the final 42:56, by as many as 23 in the third quarter and made enough plays down the stretch.
Irving helped Brooklyn close it out after missing 12 of his first 13 shots. After Milwaukee pulled within 99-89 on a 3-pointer by former Net Brook Lopez, Irving converted a three-point play with 4 1/2 minutes left and hit a 3-pointer with 3:07 remaining to make it 113-92 and clinch the win.
14 in the fourth for KAI 🥶 pic.twitter.com/lLxUAkr61P
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) December 24, 2022
Kevin Durant led the Nets with 24 points and ended Friday at 26,484 points — 12 behind Tim Duncan for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Nic Claxton made his first nine shots and added 19 points for the Nets, who shot 49.5 percent and earned their third double-digit win of the streak. Royce O’Neale hit five of Brooklyn’s 14 3-pointers and contributed 17 points while Ben Simmons nearly posted a triple-double of 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight of Brooklyn’s 30 assists.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 26 points but Milwaukee lost consecutive games for the second time this season. Lopez added 23 for the Bucks, who shot 44 percent. Jrue Holiday contributed 18 on a night when Milwaukee missed 28 of 37 3-point tries.
Durant scored 10 points as the Nets shot 56 percent and held a 36-29 lead after the opening quarter. Brooklyn led by double digits most of the second quarter and took a 60-47 lead by halftime.
Brooklyn opened its first 20-point lead when O’Neale’s 3-pointer made it 72-52 with 7:54 remaining and a hook shot by Simmons expanded the margin to 77-54 about two minutes later. Milwaukee outscored Brooklyn 21-8 over the final 5:50 to get within 85-75 entering the fourth after Pat Connaughton hit a 3-pointer with 6.1 seconds left.
NBA: Nets put up historic 91-point first half in drubbing of Warriors
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