After Saturday’s 111-107 home loss to the Chicago Bulls, a game that the Bulls took control of in the closing minutes, the Brooklyn Nets have gone on the road for four games, having departed with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets opened the trip Tuesday night in Dallas versus the Mavericks and went up against the rising young Houston Rockets last night (Wednesday). Led by Kevin Durant’s 24 points and James Harden’s near triple-double of 23 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds, the Nets extended the Mavericks’ losing streak to three games, and handed them their eighth loss in the last ten games with a tight 102-99.
It was Brooklyn’s third victory in their previous four games, improving their record to 17-7 and 9-2 away from the Barclays Center. Down by 12 at the half and 17 in the third quarter, the Nets fought back, outscoring Dallas 27-13 in the fourth quarter. Both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks’ two best players, were back in the line-up after being sidelined due to injuries. Doncic, an annual leading MVP candidate, finished with 28, and Porzingis, a former first round pick of the Knicks, had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“It’s a character win where you just want to make the right plays to get back in the game and you want to turn the momentum to your side,” said Durant. “I think we did that tonight.”
Harden looked at it as the Nets maintaining their discipline and not straying from what they normally do.
“Throughout the course of the game, I feel like we got good shots, we just missed them,” said Harden after the win. “We just kept sticking with it. You’ve got to just keep shooting, especially if that’s what you do.”
The Nets have been consistent from the start of the season and have yet to lose two straight games. Their longest winning streak is five games and they also have won four in a row. Before playing the Rockets Durant led the league in scoring at 28.4 and Harden was second in assists averaging 9.6.
The Nets’ next two games will be against the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow and Detroit Pistons on Sunday. They will be back on their homecourt on Tuesday to face the Toronto Raptors.