Nets erase 18-point deficit, dump Nuggets

Kevin Durant totaled 33 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds as the Brooklyn Nets overcame an 18-point deficit and posted a 122-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night in New York.

Durant shot 12-for-18 from the floor overall. He scored 14 points in the third quarter, when the Nets erased a 79-61 lead in the final nine-plus minutes. He secured Brooklyn’s biggest comeback of the season by hitting a short shot with 1:14 remaining in the game and a 3-pointer to give the Nets a 120-113 lead with 27.9 seconds to go.

Caris LeVert added 20 points and Bruce Brown contributed six of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a baseline 10-footer that snapped a 113-113 deadlock with 1:44 left. Joe Harris contributed 15 points for the Nets, who shot 60.8 percent in their fourth straight game without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons).

Nikola Jokic amassed 23 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds and seven steals for the Nuggets, who were outscored 61-37 in the final 21-plus minutes. Will Barton hit six 3-pointers and added 22 points while Jamal Murray contributed 20 for the Nuggets, who shot 50 percent overall.

Denver went up by 18 points early in the third on a 3-pointer by Barton, but the Nets used a 29-4 run to take a 90-83 lead on a basket by Taurean Prince with 2:36 remaining in the quarter. During Brooklyn’s stretch of 19 straight points, the Nuggets went 4:54 without a hoop.

Denver regrouped and ended the third by getting a 3-pointer from Monte Morris with 1.2 seconds left that forged a 90-90 deadlock.

Brooklyn held a 102-96 lead after a 3-pointer by Landry Shamet with 8:21 left, but the Nuggets took a 113-111 lead on a layup by Jokic with 2:40 remaining.

Before the collapse, Jokic and Barton combined for 23 points as Denver shot 52 percent and took a 35-27 lead through one quarter. The Nets were within 58-50 on a fadeaway by LeVert with 4:02 remaining in the second, but Denver closed the half with a 12-4 spurt. The Nuggets took a 70-54 lead into the intermission after Murray hit a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left.

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