NEW YORK — Blake Griffin began it with a behind-the-back move and Kevin Durant completed it by slamming down a toss off the backboard.
The Brooklyn Nets saved their greatest for final, ending the common season with their spotlight play of the season.
Now it is time to neglect that and all the pieces else that is already occurred.
“No matter we did up to now is out the window,” Kevin Durant stated.
“It’s a brand new season for us and I believe that’s the mentality all of us wish to have. We did some strong issues all through the common season however we simply wish to proceed to maintain getting higher however notice that the common season is over, it’s a brand new vibe for us.”
Durant had 23 factors, 13 assists and eight rebounds and the Nets took the No. 2 seed within the Jap Convention by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 123-109 on Sunday night time.
Kyrie Irving added 17 factors and joined an elite record of shooters for the Nets, who will open the playoffs subsequent weekend in opposition to both Boston or Washington. They meet Might 18 within the play-in event to find out the No. 7 seed.
Durant made his first eight pictures, together with the dunk to complete the standout play, to bounce again properly from a 4-for-17 outing Saturday. It was a powerful finale to his first season again after lacking 2019-20 whereas recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The Nets rested James Harden after he performed the final two video games following an 18-game absence with a proper hamstring pressure. That meant Brooklyn completed the common season with simply eight appearances from its Massive Three, going 6-2.
However the Nets nonetheless managed to complete 48-24, holding off Milwaukee for the No. 2 seed and setting a franchise report for essentially the most video games over .500 at any level in a season.
“I believe the purpose for us was to attempt to be as wholesome as doable by the top of the yr and to maintain everybody on the identical web page and enthusiastic about what we’re doing, so mission achieved there,” Nets coach Steve Nash stated.
Collin Sexton scored 16 factors however was ejected halfway by the third quarter for a flagrant foul in opposition to Durant. Durant was initially referred to as for the foul, however replay confirmed Sexton elbowed Durant within the face on his drive, so the decision was modified to a Flagrant 2, which carries an automated ejection.
Isaac Okoro and Dean Wade had 18 factors for the Cavaliers. They sat Kevin Love and plenty of different gamers of their thirteenth loss within the final 14 video games of a 22-50 season.
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff stated he thanked his gamers, calling them a pleasure to teach.
“We talked about all of the ups and downs that we’ve seen this yr and we by no means had a foul day of labor,” he stated.
Irving shot 7 for 11 from the sector and three for 3 from 3-point vary. He completed at 50.6% total, 40.2% from behind the arc and 92.2% on free throws, turning into the ninth participant to complete a 50/40/90 season. Nash did it 4 occasions and Durant did it as soon as.
The Nets led 67-56 at halftime, with their closing basket approaching the play that had followers and gamers out of their seats. Griffin grabbed a unfastened ball out of the air and in a single movement threw it behind his again forward to Irving, who handed it forward to James. James tossed it excessive off the backboard for a sprinting Durant to slam down.
James, not too long ago signed for the remainder of the season after a pair of 10-day contracts, frightened that he can be in hassle if Durant hadn’t completed the dunk.
“I’m simply glad he caught it as a result of like I stated, my Nets profession might have been actually quick,” he stated.
Cavaliers >> Darius Garland sat out after coming back from a seven-game absence with a sprained left ankle to play Might 14 in opposition to Washington. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff stated the Cavs wished the guard to enter the offseason wholesome and concentrate on getting higher and never rehab. … Ending a season wherein group outings had been largely unattainable due to coronavirus protocols, Bickerstaff stated the Cavs had an outside rooftop dinner in Brooklyn.
Nets >> Brooklyn completed 18-3 at residence in opposition to the East. … James had 14 factors and Jeff Inexperienced scored 13.
FOR THE FRO
The Nets performed a video tribute for Jarrett Allen in his first sport in Brooklyn since being dealt to Cleveland in January as a part of the multiteam deal for Harden. He received a heat ovation when the beginning lineups had been introduced and a few followers chanted his identify when he shot free throws within the first quarter.
Copyright 2021 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.