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Harden leads Nets to sixth straight win, Pelicans complete largest comeback in franchise history

By Ben Somerford

New York, February 22: The high-flying Brooklyn Nets made it six straight wins in the NBA with a 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Brooklyn were missing star Kevin Durant (hamstring) once again, but James Harden (37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) and Kyrie Irving (28 points and eight assists) stepped up in his absence.

The Nets held a 10-point lead at the final break but roared on by billionaire owner Steve Ballmer in the front row, the Clippers pushed hard in the last.

With the Nets leading 110-108 with 10 seconds to play, Clippers star Kawhi Leonard (29 points and 13 rebounds) was called for a tough offensive foul on former MVP Harden, spurning their final chance at victory.

The Nets have beaten all five Pacific Division teams on the road over their last 5 games. According to Stats Perform, Brooklyn are the first NBA team to beat an entire division on the road in consecutive games since the Milwaukee Bucks did so against the Pacific Division over their last five games of the 1972-73 season.

Brooklyn wrapped up a 5-0 road trip – their longest undefeated single trip in franchise history.

The Nets improved to 20-12 in the Eastern Conference – a half-game adrift of leaders the Philadelphia 76ers, while the Clippers slipped to 22-10.

Pelicans make history

The New Orleans Pelicans rallied past the Boston Celtics 120-115 in overtime as they completed their largest comeback in franchise history. New Orleans trailed by 24 points. Brandon Ingram (33 points) and Zion Williamson (28 points) fuelled the Pelicans.

The Milwaukee Bucks topped the Sacramento Kings 128-115 behind Giannis Antetokounmpo (38 points and 18 rebounds) and Khris Middleton (32 points, eight rebounds and six assists).

The Bucks pair combined for 70 points, 26 rebounds, 10 assists and 22 made free throws. Per Stats Perform, they are the first team-mate duo to achieve the feat since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen for the Chicago Bulls in 1990.

Orlando Magic star Nikola Vucevic put on a clinic with 37 points and 12 rebounds in the team's 105-96 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Trae Young put up 35 points and 15 assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks past the Denver Nuggets 123-115. Nuggets star Jamal Murray finished with 30 points.

Timberwolves dismiss Saunders

After the Minnesota Timberwolves lost 103-99 to the New York Knicks, the franchise fired head coach Ryan Saunders. The decision game as the Timberwolves fell to 7-24 for the season.

Sunday's results

New Orleans Pelicans 120-115 Boston Celtics (OT)

Oklahoma City Thunder 117-101 Cleveland Cavaliers

Orlando Magic 105-96 Detroit Pistons

New York Knicks 103-99 Minnesota Timberwolves

Atlanta Hawks 123-115 Denver Nuggets

Milwaukee Bucks 128-115 Sacramento Kings

Brooklyn Nets 112-108 Los Angeles Clippers

Toronto Raptors 110-103 Philadelphia 76ers

Trail Blazers at Suns

Two of the top contenders in the Western Conference meet on Monday (February 22), when the Phoenix Suns (19-10) host the Portland Trail Blazers (18-11) with Damian Lillard the key man.

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Story first published: Monday, February 22, 2021, 13:10 [IST]
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