Durant drops 14th career triple-double to help 8-man Nets overcome Raptors in OT

Patty Mills made a 3 to force overtime, Kevin Durant had 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 131-129 on Tuesday night.

Durant was upgraded from questionable just before the game because Brooklyn has seven players in the NBA’s health and safety protocol, including starters James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre’ Bembry. He responded to the last-minute add with his 14th triple-double of his career.

“I felt like it was something I could play on, so I knew I was going to play this morning,” Durant said. “I hate that my teammates are out. I wish everybody was playing.”

Brooklyn won its third straight, with Mills adding 30 points. It was the fourth career 30-point game in Mills’ career, and his first since Nov. 1, 2019, when he was a member of the San Antonio Spurs. The Nets also got 17 from Kessler Edwards, 16 from Nic Claxton and 13 from Blake Griffin before he fouled out in overtime.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Toronto (12-15). Fred VanVleet led the Raptors with 31. Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam each finished with 25.

“We know how good of a team we can be when we are clicking and doing what we are supposed to do,” Siakam said. “Every time we haven’t done that in season we pay for it.”

WATCH | Durant dazzles leading undermanned Nets past Raptors in OT:

Durant leads Nets to overtime victory over Raptors

6 hours ago

Duration 1:37

Brooklyn defeats Toronto 131-129, Kevin Durant scores game-high 34 points. 1:37

Scottie Barnes had 23, but missed what would have been a game-winning, buzzer-beating 3 in overtime.

“I feel like we’re right there as a team,” Barnes said. “We’ll get this thing really going as a unit.”

Trailing by 10 entering the third quarter, Toronto outscored Brooklyn 44-25 to take a 100-91 advantage going into the fourth. But Brooklyn outscored Toronto 26-11 over the first 7:18 of the fourth quarter, regaining the lead, 109-108, on a Mills 3 with 7:12 left. Another Mills 3 from the left side with 4:43 left extended the lead to 117-111.

It didn’t last. Barnes knocked down two 3s to tie the game, and Trent made a 3 with 1:21 left to give the Raptors a 120-117 lead. That held until Mills’ 3 with 13 seconds left forced overtime.

“I like how we responded throughout the whole game,” Durant said. “Hitting them first and taking their punch — 44-25 in the third — then turning it up in the fourth quarter and overtime, man. … I’m so proud to just be a part of this group and play with these young dudes.

“Man, it was amazing to be out there.”

Nets overcome several absences

The Nets only had enough remaining players to take the court against the Raptors because Durant played.

“It’s unfortunate for sure,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said before the game. About a half-hour after he had finished — and an hour before the opening tip — the team announced Harden and Brown had been placed into COVID-19 protocols.

“First we concern ourselves with their health and safety. Fortunately for us, they’re predominantly asymptomatic but there will be a period of time required for them to test negative [before we can] have our full group available again.”

Nash also said “a couple coaches [and] a couple staff [members]” had been placed in protocols.

“We’re not naive enough to not have concerns about more people contracting the virus, but that’s out of our hands,” Nash said. “Overall, we can’t do a lot right now except wait for results to come in and control what’s in our hands.”

The Nets have been playing short-handed all season after Kyrie Irving refused to get vaccinated, which ruled him out for home games because of a New York City vaccine mandate. The team decided not to let him play solely in road games.

The NBA postponed two Chicago Bulls games this week because 10 of their players were in health and safety protocols.

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