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Lakers, Bucks win big amid Harden reported trade to Nets

 LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 13, 2021 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (AFP)

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 13, 2021 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (AFP)

 

 

 

Brooklyn 116, New York 109

LA Clippers 111, New Orleans 106

Portland 132, Sacramento 126

Memphis 118, Minnesota 107

LA Lakers 128, Oklahoma City 99

Dallas 104, Charlotte 93

Milwaukee 110, Detroit 101

 

 

 

 

LOS ANGELES (AFP) –The Brooklyn Nets limbered up for the expected arrival of James Harden in a blockbuster NBA trade with a 116-109 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

JAMES HARDEN

JAMES HARDEN

Star forward Kevin Durant scored 26 points to lead seven Nets players in double figures –a performance all the more impressive with just nine Brooklyn players available.

News that the Houston Rockets would send their disgruntled star Harden to Brooklyn in a four-team deal electrified the league on Wednesday.

It had yet to be confirmed, but the four players reported to be on their way out of Brooklyn – Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Rodions Kurucs and Taurean Prince were unavailable and, according to coach Steve Nash, not at Madison Square Garden.

Durant, however, scoffed at the suggestion the proposed deal had made for ”drama and chaos” around a team already dealing with the absence of Kyrie Irving for undisclosed personal reasons.

Durant, back this season after missing an entire campaign recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, played on back-to-back nights for the first time, logging 30 minutes and connecting on 10 of 18 shots from the field, including three from three-point range.

KEVIN DURANT (AFP)

KEVIN DURANT (AFP)

The Nets, with Durant and Irving healthy, were already expected to contend in the East.

The addition of former MVP Harden – the league’s top scorer the past three seasons – would only enhance their ability to challenge in a conference in which the Milwaukee Bucks have led the way the past two seasons only to come up short in the playoffs.

The Bucks notched their third straight win, 110-101 victory over the Pistons in Detroit, on the back of a triple-double from two-time defending NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo delivered 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 20th career triple-double.

SHOW OF FORCE

It was just one lopsided result on a night that saw the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers rout the Thunder, 128-99, in Oklahoma City.

The Lakers improved their league-leading record to 10-3 and remained unbeaten in seven games on the road –their best road start ever in a season.

LeBron James scored 26 points with six rebounds and seven assists. Anthony Davis scored 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter to get the Lakers started off right and Montrezl Harrell scored 21 off the bench as the Lakers followed up a dominant victory over the Rockets on Tuesday that had left Harden fuming.

The Dallas Mavericks welcomed big man Kristaps Porzingis back with a 104-93 victory over the Hornets in Charlotte.

Porzingis scored 16 points in 21 minutes on the floor as he made his season debut after left knee surgery in October.

The 25-year-old added four rebounds and two blocked shots and Mavs point guard Luka Doncic fell just shy of a triple-double with 34 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in the wire-to-wire win.

The Hornets’ four-game winning streak ended painfully as star forward Gordon Hayward departed in the third quarter with a left hip strain and did not return.

 

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