NBA: James Harden gets triple-double in debut as Nets clip Magic

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 17 2021 10:18 AM

NBA: James Harden gets triple-double in debut as Nets clip Magic 1
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) high fives forward Kevin Durant (7) during a time out in the second quarter against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Wendell Cruz, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kevin Durant scored a season-high 42 points and James Harden added a 32-point triple-double in his debut for the Brooklyn Nets, who recorded a 122-115 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night in New York.

Durant shot 16-of-26 and set a franchise record by scoring at least 25 points for the ninth straight game. He surpassed 30 points for the fifth time this season as the Nets won their third straight.

Harden shot 8 of 18 from the field and grabbed 12 rebounds. He added four steals and made 13 of 15 free throws in 40 minutes. His 14 assists broke the franchise record set by Kevin Porter in 1977 for assists in his debut with the team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Harden also became the seventh player in NBA history to record a triple-double in his debut with a new team.

Joe Harris added 17 points for the Nets, who shot 53.8 percent and hit 16 3-pointers in their sixth straight game without Kyrie Irving (personal reasons, health and safety protocols).

Nikola Vucevic scored a season-high 34 points for Orlando, which dropped its fifth straight but played its most competitive game of the skid.

Terrence Ross added 23 and rookie Cole Anthony contributed 16 as Orlando shot 46.3 percent while playing without Evan Fournier (back spasms) for the eighth straight game.

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Harden hit five free throws, assisted on a layup by Landry Shamet for his 10th assist, and hit a 3-pointer in the final 1:52 as the Nets held an 84-83 lead into the fourth quarter. The Nets took a 96-88 lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Harden but Orlando was within 100-98 on a jumper by Ross with 6:57 left.

Durant surpassed 40 points by hitting a 3-pointer with 4:35 remaining to give Brooklyn a 110-104 lead. 

Harden picked up his triple-double when he got the rebound of a missed jumper by Anthony with 3:10 remaining, and the Nets secured the win when Durant drove the lane and passed to Bruce Brown for a corner 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining that pushed the lead to 117-107.

Harden scored his first points as a Net by hitting two free throws with 6.8 seconds left as the Nets held a 29-26 through 12 minutes. Harden added six more points as the Nets held a 52-50 lead by halftime after Orlando ended the quarter on a 7-2 spurt.

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