Sexton’s Cavaliers spoil debut of Brooklyn’s Big Three

Published January 21, 2021, 1:12 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Collin Sexton of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball during the game against Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets on January 20, 2021 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Collin Sexton scored a game-high 42 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers overcame a James Harden triple double and spoiled the debut of the Brooklyn Nets’ Big Three with a 147-135 double overtime victory.

Wednesday’s marathon contest was supposed to showcase the Nets’ star trio of Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving playing together for the first time together.

Irving finished with 37 points, Harden had a triple double of 21 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists and Durant tallied a team-high 38 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as the Cavaliers had eight players in double-figure scoring at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse arena in Cleveland.

Turkey’s Cedi Osman scored 25 points, and Taurean Prince came off the bench to notch 17 as the Cavaliers bench outscored the Nets reserves 44-10.

Irving missed seven games for undisclosed purposes but was slapped with a $50,000 fine by the league while he was out for violating the league’s Covid-19 safety rules. Irving was punished after video surfaced showing him attending a family birthday event without wearing a face mask.

Brooklyn had won five of seven games without Irving and this was just their third loss since January 5.

Sexton hit the game-tying three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in the first overtime period and scored 15 of his 42 in the second extra session.

Sexton set the tone for Cleveland in the second overtime, hitting a free throw early and then draining a three pointer with three minutes left to give the Cavs a 134-127 lead. Sexton nailed his fifth and final three pointer with 89 seconds left to make it 142-131 as the Cavaliers dominated down the stretch.

Sexton surpassed his previous career high of 41, set in March 2020 against Boston, by scoring 31 points after halftime. He shot 16 of 29 from the field overall after missing the previous five games with an ankle injury.

Durant missed a potential game winner at the buzzer in the first overtime as he, Irving and Harden all played the final 18 minutes of the game but couldn’t get the job done.

Elsewhere, Kristaps Porzingis collected 27 points and 13 rebounds and Trey Burke came off the bench to score 22 points to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a 124-112 victory over the host Indiana Pacers. 

Tim Hardaway finished with 19 points in the win. On Monday, Hardaway missed all 12 of his shooting attempts in a loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Luka Doncic recorded his 30th career triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the Mavericks, who snapped a season-high three-game losing streak. 

Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 points, Domantas Sabonis added 25 and Jeremy Lamb had 10 in his first game since sustaining a torn ACL in Toronto 11 months ago.