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Nets handle Knicks, with short roster following Harden trade

NO James Harden, at least for one more game? No Kyrie Irving, for who knows how long? It was no problem on Wednesday night for the Brooklyn Nets.

Kevin Durant scored 26 points to lead seven players in double figures for the rapidly retooling Nets, who capped a wild day with a 116-109 win over the host New York Knicks.

Everyone in uniform except DeAndre Jordan and Chris Chiozza scored at least 10 points for the Nets hours after the team reportedly agreed to acquire Harden from the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster four-team trade.

The trade brings together the only active players to win three consecutive scoring titles. Harden is the NBA’s reigning scoring champ (2017-20), while Durant led the league in points per game from 2009-10 through 2011-12, and added a fourth scoring title in 2013-14.

With Irving’s availability uncertain, the deal also buys the Nets some “superteam” insurance. Irving missed his fifth straight game due to personal reasons and is expected to sit out at least the rest of the week.

Bruce Brown had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets while Joe Harris scored 15 points. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Landry Shamet each had 13 points, and Jeff Green and Reggie Perry added 11 points apiece.

Julius Randle scored 30 points for the Knicks, who have lost four straight. RJ Barrett had 20 points while Mitchell Robinson (10 points, 12 rebounds) recorded a double-double. Immanuel Quickley (19 points) and Kevin Knox II (13 points) each got into double-digits off the bench.

Randle scored 10 points in the first nine minutes as the Knicks took a 20-13 lead. The Nets ended the first quarter on a 13-5 run and went ahead for good on Perry’s putback 37 seconds into the second period.

The Nets ended the half on a 9-0 run to extend their lead to 61-45. Brooklyn led by as many as 19 in the second half and maintained a double-digit advantage until the Knicks ended the game on a 14-3 run. — Reuters

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