Durant scores season-high 42 as Nets roll over Pacers
Kevin Durant scored a season-high 42 points and dished out 10 assists as the first-place Brooklyn Nets won their fourth straight game with a 130-113 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis.
Durant scored 22 points in the third quarter as the Nets closed out Thursday’s contest with a 17-7 run and improved to 43-20 with the victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Injuries have taken a toll on Brooklyn’s roster this season as they were without former league MVP James Harden and all-star Kyrie Irving. But they have shown that they are one of the deepest teams in the NBA by continuing to win despite rarely being able to field a lineup that includes all of their Big Three of Durant, Harding and Irving.
Harding, who is out with a strained hamstring, has played just four minutes in April.
Forward Durant made 16 of 24 shots against the Pacers in his eighth start since being sidelined for nearly two months with a hamstring injury.
Reserve Alize Johnson had 20 points and 21 rebounds while all five of the Nets starters finished in double figures, including Jeff Green, Joe Harris and Landry Shamet who each scored 14 points.
The Eastern Conference-leading Nets, who have already clinched a playoff spot, now have a one and a half game lead on the Philadelphia 76ers.
Caris LeVert scored 36 points, Edmond Sumner added 16 points and Doug McDermott scored 15 for the Pacers, who lost point guard Malcolm Brogdon in the second quarter with a hamstring problem.
Indiana dropped to 29-33 on the season as they are in the midst of the race for one of the four play-in tournament spots. They are in ninth spot, one game back of the Charlotte Hornets.
Seeds seven and eight need to win one game to advance to the NBA playoffs while seeds nine and 10 would need to win twice in order to get in.
As it stands now, the Pacers are on track for just their second losing season since 2011.
In Detroit, Tim Hardaway poured in a career-high 42 points and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Detroit Pistons 115-105.