NBA: Kevin Durant helps the Cavaliers overcome the net

Kevin Durant Net NBA

Kevin Durant # 11 of the Brooklyn Net’s high-five in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Barclays Center on April 08, 2022 in Brooklyn Borough, New York City. Net 118-107 won. Sarah Steer / Getty Images / AFP

Host Brooklyn Nets scored Kevin Durant 36 points using a big fourth quarter to sustain a 17-point lead in Friday night’s 118-107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in New York.

Net (43-38) moved to seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They shared the same record as Cleveland (43-38) but won three of four meetings to claim a head-to-head tiebreaker.

Brooklyn beat Cleveland 29-14 in the final 9:52 and 38-81 in the final 14-plus, 88-81 to win the third in a row. It was Brooklyn’s second consecutive impressive finish after Wednesday’s win over Crosstown rivals Knicks.

Durant made 11 of 20 shots, including a 3-pointer lead that gave Brooklyn a 95-93 lead with 8:52 remaining. He then added a 3-pointer for a 102-97 lead with 6:31 remaining and Seth Curry’s 3-pointer with 3:39 left the net to open the 112-99 lead.

Kairi Irving added 18 points and eight assists for Brooklyn, who shot 46.7 percent. Bruce Brown posted almost triple-doubles with 18 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Andre Drummond contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds with three baskets during Brooklyn’s final run and Curry chipped in 12 points.

Darius Garland scored 31 points for the Cavs but took a hard fall with 3:54 left in the clash with Irving. Laurie Markkanen added 16 runs and Evan Mobilio added 18 runs after recovering from an ankle injury.

Cleveland have dropped 6-11 since losing a fractured finger to former Brooklyn center Jarrett Allen on March 6.

Durant scored 16 points as the Nets led 34-19 in the opening quarter. Caris Levert reduced the lay-off deficit to 53-48 with 2:33 left but Brooklyn took a 62-54 lead at halftime on Durant’s 12-foot Fedway with 6.7 seconds.

With 9:53 remaining, the Nets took a 70-60 lead in Brown’s lay-up but never split, and Cleveland took an 82-81 lead in Isaac Okoro’s lay-up with a time of 3:29. Okoro’s layup was part of an 11-2 lead that led Cleveland to fourth in 88-83.

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