Harden, Durant lead Nets past Bucks, Randle the hero for Knicks

Tanya Simon
January 21, 2021

Without Kyrie Irving, this team escaped a tough Giannis Antetokounmpo who 34 points and 12 rebounds wasn't enough to lift them over the Nets.

"We're still trying to find our way and we've still got room to improve, but it's a solid start", Durant said. Although multiple options were set up, Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer had no issues with the attempt, even with Antetokounmpo being the superstar for the team.

Harden said their maturity has further aided their on-court synergy.

"This is what they do - they wake up, come to the game and they score 30", Antetokounmpo said.

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, who sat out the game, gestures during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Dec. 28, 2020 (December 29 in Manila) in NY. Middleton added 25 points and Jrue Holiday had 22.

Harden, playing his second game for Brooklyn since arriving in a blockbuster trade, added 12 assists.

Durant erupted for 30 points hitting a clutch go-ahead three-pointer putting the Nets up 125-123 with 36.6 seconds left in the fourth-quarter.

Durant could have put it away but turned it over on the Nets' next possession, but they held on when Middleton's shot was just off from in front of his bench.

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One of the biggest concerns with the Nets' organization once they acquired Harden was how the three stars would mesh during crunch time, although Kyrie Irving missed his seventh consecutive game Monday.

Joe Harris got the offense rolling going 5-7 from the three-point line ending the night with 20 points. Through two games with the Nets, Harden has scored or assisted on 129 points, which is the most in a player's first two games with a team in National Basketball Association history.

The Nets hoped their point guard would be able to return for the showdown against the Milwaukee Bucks in a matchup of Eastern Conference powers, listing him as questionable in Sunday's injury report.

With the Nets trailing by one, he swooped in to grab the rebound of his own 3-pointer that was off and passed to Durant, who nailed the shot that made it 125-123. He won the award 26 times in the Western Conference.

This could be attributed to the fact that the two MVPs have played with one another. We know what we want.

Bucks: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

The Nets take on a two-game series with the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday and Friday.

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