Kevin Durant leads Nets to win over Knicks

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant had 32 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, leading the Brooklyn Nets 21 points to a 110-98 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night, bolstering their chances of get the best seat possible. next week in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

After seeing the Nets comeback from 28 when he was injured on their last visit to Madison Square Garden, Durant scored 23 points in the second half to power that comeback that sent Brooklyn into a seventh-place Cleveland game at ballast.

The Nets host the Cavaliers on Friday night. If they win that and then beat Indiana on Sunday in their regular-season finale, they’ll finish seventh and need to win one game out of two chances at home in the play-ins to qualify for the playoffs.

Kyrie Irving added 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Nets, who swept the four-game season series and beat the Knicks for the seventh straight time, their longest winning streak in the local rivalry since the taking a franchise record 11 in a row from 1984 to 1986.

It looked like it would go the Knicks’ way most of the night, and they were still up 18 with less than four minutes left in the third quarter. But Brooklyn cut it to 10 at the end of the period, then opened the fourth with a 15-2 push to take the lead.

The Knicks recovered to regain a three-way lead, but Durant scored eight straight points for Brooklyn, including the tying jumper that went 98-96 with 4:15 left. The Nets followed with 3 points from Irving, Seth Curry and Patty Mills to open it. Curry and Mills each scored 15 points.

Alec Burks scored 24 points and RJ Barrett had 23 for the Knicks, who were in control after a 19-0 spanning the first and second quarters.

CELTICS 117, BULLS 94

CHICAGO (AP) — Jaylen Brown scored 25 points, Al Horford added 17 on 7-of-7 shooting and Boston routed Chicago for its 50th victory.

The Celtics have won three in a row and are 27-6 since Jan. 22. They can wrap up second place in the Eastern Conference playoffs on Thursday night with a win at Milwaukee.

Jayson Tatum scored 16 points for Boston. He was 5 of 18 from the field, making just one of eight from 3-point range.

DeMar DeRozan scored 16 points for Chicago. The Bulls have lost two games in a row. They claimed a playoff spot on Tuesday.

MAVERICKS 131, PISTONS 113

DETROIT (AP) — Luka Doncic had 26 points, 14 assists and eight assists as Dallas beat Detroit to 50 wins for the first time in seven years.

The Mavericks are 20 games above .500 for the first time since 2011, when they won the NBA title.

Jalen Brunson added 24 points for Dallas, The Maver won five of six.

Cade Cunningham had 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for Detroit.

CLIPPERS 113, SUNS 109

LOS ANGLES (AP) — Norman Powell scored 24 points after two months out, Paul George added 19 points in three quarters to surpass 15,000 in his career and Los Angeles held off NBA-leading Phoenix.

With nothing at stake, Phoenix rested All-Star guards Devin Booker and Chris Paul and fellow starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder on the second straight night. The Suns had already set a franchise record for single-season wins with 63 by knocking the Lakers out of the playoffs on Tuesday.

The Clippers beat the Suns for three quarters, leading by 39 points in the third. But the Phoenix reserves had a 48-point fourth quarter and then ran out of time.

Ish Wainwright scored a career-high 20 points to lead Phoenix. Aaron Holiday added 16 points and Bismack Biyombo had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

JAZZ 137, THUNDER 101

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Bojan Bogdanovic scored 27 points, Rudy Gobert added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Utah beat Oklahoma City.

Jordan Clarkson had a season-high 18 points and 10 assists, and Hassan Whiteside added 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks to help the Jazz win their fifth straight home game.

Jaylen Hoard scored 23 points for Oklahoma City. Isaiah Roby and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl each added 18 points.

HAWKS 118, MAGICIANS 193

ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young scored 16 of his 30 points in the third period to help Atlanta extend its lead against Washington.

Kristaps Porzingis led Washington with 26 points and 18 rebounds.

The Hawks are ninth in the Eastern Conference, thanks to Brooklyn’s tiebreaker for eighth, and are heading into the qualifying tournament with two games left in the regular season.

Danilo Gallinari had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta. Young added 11 assists.