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Kyrie Irving scores 40 to lead Nets comeback versus Knicks; Suns win

KYRIE IRVING scored 40 points, including a critical three-pointer in the final minute, and Jeff Green made a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left to seal the Brooklyn Nets’ 114-112 comeback win over the New York Knicks on Monday in Brooklyn, New York.

The Nets, playing the second leg of a back-to-back, carried over some of the struggles from their 115-107 loss on Sunday in Chicago. Brooklyn fell behind by 10 points at half time, and lost James Harden after just four minutes due to hamstring tightness.

New York extended its lead to as many as 13 points in the third quarter, but a 10-2 run to close the period gave the Nets a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Brooklyn pulled ahead 112-107 with a minute left when Irving hit a step-back triple, his second three-pointer of the quarter and fifth of the game.

New York rallied with five quick points, including a game-tying trey from Alec Burks with 26.1 seconds left. On Brooklyn’s ensuing possession, the Knicks double-teamed Irving in the corner, forcing the ball into Joe Harris’ hands.

Harris missed a short, contested jumper, but Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot’s offensive rebound set up the deciding foul shots.

Jeff Green finished with 23 points for the Nets, began the day tied atop the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia.

Harris scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, and Alize Johnson added 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Julius Randle recorded a triple-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists for the Knicks.

R.J. Barrett shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range en route to a team-high 22 points for New York. Reggie Bullock made 5-of-10 from deep on a night when the Knicks hit 48.3 percent from beyond the arc. He scored 21 points.

SUNS WIN
Meanwhile, Devin Booker scored a game-high 36 points, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul recorded double-doubles and the Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to six games with a 133-130 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Monday.

Booker sank four free throws in the final 37.8 seconds left and picked off a Jae’Sean Tate pass at the final buzzer to seal the win. Booker finished 6 of 8 from 3-point range, 8 of 9 from the free-throw line and added six rebounds and six assists to his sparkling ledger.

Ayton (27 points, 11 rebounds) and Paul (19 points, 11 assists) were part of the Suns’ dynamic offensive performance that included an 18-of-37 effort on 3-point tries. Mikal Bridges went 4 of 6 from deep and scored 20 points, while Paul and Cameron Johnson (12 points) drilled three treys each.

Despite the Suns’ exceptional shooting, the Rockets hung close until the end.

Christian Wood led the Rockets with 23 points while Kelly Olynyk added 21. — Reuters

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