Harden powers Nets past Pelicans; Raptors rally to beat Bucks

Published January 16, 2022, 10:38 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

James Harden of the Brooklyn Nets (left) drives against the New Orleans Pelicans during their game at Barclays Center on January 15, 2022 in New York City. (AFP)

James Harden flirted with a triple-double scoring 27 points with 15 assists and eight rebounds as the Brooklyn Nets rolled over the New Orleans Pelicans 120-105 despite an injury to NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant.

Durant was hurt with 5:44 left in the second quarter of Saturday’s contest when he collided with teammate Bruce Brown. Durant grimaced from the contact but stayed in the game for the next possession before calling a timeout and heading to the Nets’ dressing room.

Durant is expected to have an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the damage.

Before exiting, Durant — who entered Saturday averaging 29.7 points per game — scored 12 points in the first quarter to help the Nets compile a 32-22 lead.

Patty Mills added 21 points and Kessler Edwards chipped in 16 for the Nets, who never trailed in front of a crowd of 17,000 at Barclays Center.

Brandon Ingram scored 22 points and Josh Hart had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, who had won two straight.

In Milwaukee, Pascal Siakam posted his second career triple-double with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Toronto Raptors rallied from 15 points down to beat the league champion Milwaukee Bucks 103-96.

“I just try to come out every night with just the same intensity and same energy,” Siakam said. “Tonight I think we all played well. We were flowing and moving the ball and just playing our brand of basketball.”

The Raptors continued their move up the Eastern Conference standings by winning their seventh game in the last 10 and their third straight against the Bucks this season.

OG Anunoby scored 30 points, Fred VanVleet added 17 points, Chris Boucher had 15, and Preston Achiuwa finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, who held the Bucks to a season low 33.8% shooting at Fiserv Forum.

“We’re one of those teams I feel like can compete with anybody when we’re at our best. And when we’re not, we’re very average,” said VanVleet. The challenge is to be consistent and raise the floor and let your bad nights be better than what our bad nights have been.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo, who didn’t play in the previous two games against the Raptors this season, led Milwaukee with 30 points while Grayson Allen had 18 points, and Khris Middleton added 16.

Antetokounmpo made all 17 of his free throws, but shot just six of 17 from the field.

The Raptors have now beaten the Bucks twice, knocked off the Jazz, and lost a hard-fought battle to the Suns all in the last two weeks.

Toronto was coming off back-to-back losses to Phoenix and Detroit, but before that they had won six straight.

In Miami, Joel Embiid scored 11 points in the final 6:18 to lift the Philadelphia 76ers to a 109-98 victory over the Miami Heat.

Embiid finished with a game-high 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Sixers. Tobias Harris added 22 points and Seth Curry 21 in the win.

 
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