The Brooklyn Nets extended their winning streak to five games with a 116-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
James Harden narrowly missed out on his second straight triple-double finishing with 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as he took over the game with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, transforming a seven-point lead into a double-digit one, earning plaudits from Durant afterwards.
“James was special there in the fourth,” Durant, who finished with 31 points, told ESPN.
KS was not alone in his praise as Blake Griffin, who had his own good day on the court with 14 points and 11 rebounds, also applauded Harden’s efforts post-game.
“When he’s at that level, he makes us go,” Griffin told ESPN about Harden. “We, as a team, can go to a different level.”
Still playing without Kyrie Irving, the Nets are finding their rhythm and starting to gel as early season frustrations have started to give way to a prolific offense.
With the contributions from Griffin, Patty Mills and the everpresent offensive threat that is Harden, the Nets have strung together their win streak and accomplished a little bit of history for head coach Steve Nash – Sunday’s victory was his first victory in his home country of Canada as a head coach.
“That means a lot,” Nash told ESPN. “This is a very special place for me.
“Not only Canada, but Toronto. I’ve spent so much of my time here, I have so many close friends, relationships, and memories in this city. For me, this is definitely a sweet win.”
Toronto had a 60-53 lead coming out of halftime but could not keep up with a resurgent Nets offense.
Shooting guard Fred VanVleet led the team with 21 points in scoring, as the Raptors lost their second straight game.
The win moves the Nets up to third spot in the East, while the Raptors fall to 6-5 on the year.