Kevin Durant scored 30 points as the Brooklyn Nets withstood a foul-plagued game and held off the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves for a 110-105 victory Friday night at New York.
The Nets won for the 14th time in 17 games on a night when the officiating crew called a combined 56 fouls.
Durant shot 9 of 18 from the field and made 12 of 13 free throws. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out six assists in a game that featured 26 lead changes. Durant’s biggest shot of the night also provided the final margin.
The Nets held a 108-105 lead after a free throw by James Harden with 40.7 seconds remaining. Minnesota’s Malik Beasley missed a 3-point try with 32.6 seconds remaining, and on Brooklyn’s next possession Durant drained a difficult 15-foot fadeaway with 11.3 seconds left to secure the win.
Patty Mills added 23 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:09 remaining that put Brooklyn up 103-101. Mills hit four 3-pointers on a night when the Nets missed 17 of 23 3-point tries.
James Harden added 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as Brooklyn shot 46.8 percent in a game where it never led by more than seven points.
Minnesota was without Karl Anthony-Towns, who missed his first game with a tailbone contusion after being listed as questionable and warming up before the game. He took a hard fall after completing a dunk in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s game at Washington.
Without Towns, former Nets guard D’Angelo Russell paced the Wolves with 21 points and 11 assists, but he shot 6 of 22 from the field. Anthony Edwards and Naz Reid added 19 apiece, while Beasley contributed 18, as Minnesota shot 38.7 percent and committed 18 turnovers.
Brooklyn scored the first 12 points of the second quarter for a 39-34 lead on a basket by James Johnson with 9:09 remaining before the half. The Wolves regained their footing as Edwards scored seven straight points and hit a 3-pointer for a 51-45 lead with 3:56 remaining.
The Nets ended the half with a 14-4 run and took a 59-55 lead by halftime after rookie Cam Thomas hit a 3-pointer with 14.2 seconds left.
The Nets held an 84-77 lead on a 3-pointer by Mills with 3:05 left in the third quarter and settled for an 86-85 lead heading into the fourth.
--Field Level Media