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Sexton, Cavs’ OT win spoils debut of Nets’ Big Three

COLLIN Sexton hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1.2 second left in the first overtime (OT) and scored 15 of his career-high 42 points in the second overtime as the host Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Brooklyn Nets for a 147-135 victory on Wednesday night.

Sexton gave Cleveland the lead for good at 128-127 on a free throw early in the second overtime. He then went on a binge that allowed the Cavaliers to win comfortably.

Sexton’s second 3-pointer of the final overtime made it 134-127 with three minutes left, and his final trey hiked the lead to 142-131 with 89 seconds left.

Sexton surpassed his previous career high of 41 set March 4, 2020, against Boston by scoring 31 points after halftime. He shot 16 of 29 from the field overall after missing the previous five games with an ankle injury.

Thanks largely to Sexton’s efforts, Cleveland overcome big nights in the debut of Brooklyn’s star trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who each played the final 18-plus minutes.

Durant led the Nets with 38 points but missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer in the first overtime after Brooklyn blew a five-point lead in the final 1:53. He also put up 12 rebounds and eight assists.

Irving added 37 points in his first game back from a two-week absence due to personal reasons along with health and safety protocols. Harden posted his second triple-double in three games as a Net with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

The trio all played more than 48 minutes and combined for 28 points in the fourth quarter when the Nets overcame a 13-point deficit.

Cedi Osman added 25 points for the Cavaliers, who shot 51.4% from the floor. Cleveland placed seven in double figures after consecutive postponements in Washington due to the Wizards’ COVID-19 issues.

Irving forged a 113-113 tie with 68 seconds left in regulation with a tip-in. The Nets took a 120-115 lead with 1:53 left in overtime on a layup by Durant and led 127-124 on Durant two free throws with 8.9 seconds left.

Taurean Prince added 17 points for Cleveland while Larry Nance, Jr. and Damyean Dotson contributed 15 apiece. Andre Drummond finished with 13 while Jarrett Allen amassed 12 points and 11 rebounds against his former team.

Jeff Green contributed 16 for the Nets, who made their first 10 shots and shot 45.3% overall. — Reuters

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