MIAMI Brooklyn won another victory. Now the Nets should be hoping for some good news about Kevin Durant.
Royce O’Neal’s pullback with 3.2 seconds left allowed Brooklyn to stay and the Nets beat the Miami Heat 102-101 on Sunday night in a game that saw Durant walk out in the third quarter with a right hand injury. knee.
“Right knee, they’re going to examine it tomorrow, and then hopefully I’ll have more information,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Most likely it will involve visualization, just to make sure we’re okay.”
Durant waited for his teammates after the big finish, punching them all as they walked into the locker room. Vaughn said he didn’t ask Durant how he was feeling, although Kyrie Irving said his friend was in a good mood.
Durant was gone with 36.6 seconds left in the third quarter, shortly after he appeared to be injured by Miami’s Jimmy Butler. Durant grabbed his right knee after Butler, who had just pulled up to the basket, landed with his back to Durant and fell on top of him.
“These plays are scary because when one is not watching what is happening, in those moments, anything can happen,” Irving said. “So I’m grateful for all the time he spent in the gym getting his body into a great position and his body was able to save him from something worse.”
Durant landed two hard shots in the second half. He also grabbed his knee after being called for an offensive foul on a drive where he collided with Miami’s Kyle Lowry with 7:57 left in the third.
“You never want him to fall like that,” Vaughn said. Any player, for that matter. Quite a tough encounter, but you have to give credit to our group for weathering it.”
Irving has scored 29 goals, leading the Nets to win 18 of their last 20 games after winning only nine of their first 20 games. Durant had 17 points before leaving, with Seth Curry scoring 14 for Brooklyn.
Nick Claxton had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets.
Butler scored 26 points for Miami and Tyler Herro scored 24 points. Butler missed a contested rim shot on the final play of the game. and Herro was shocked by this as well, before limping – replays indicate that he may have slipped.
“Jimmy played absolutely right,” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said after the team pressed the foul to no avail.
Spoelstra said Herro said after the game that he was fine, but the team would know more on Monday. Bam Adebayo was sidelined in the second half with a contusion in his right hand – an X-ray was negative – and scored 10 points for Miami, as did Max Strus and Haywood Highsmith.
Brooklyn led 66-64 in the half, Irving led the Nets with 24, and both teams shot well – 54% for Miami, 57% for Brooklyn.
And then in the third defense appeared.
Brooklyn shot 28% in the quarter, Miami 25%, and the Heat beat the Nets 18–13 in that period to take a three-point lead in the fourth.
Miami had a nine-ball lead in the last quarter, Butler went up 101-100 on straight shots but failed to parry a rebound from Irving’s 30-foot miss in the final seconds. O’Neal got the rebound and turned it into an eventual winner.
“I was just there to finish it,” O’Neill said.
Nets: Claxton has blocked three shots and has at least three blocks in six consecutive games. Only Anthony Davis of the Lakers has done it this season, and no Nets player has done it since Shaun Bradley had two separate 11-game streaks in 1996.
Heat: NBA commissioner Adam Silver and DJ Khaled were in attendance. …Caleb Martin (left quadriceps strain) out. … Lowry and Victor Oladipo were 2 out of 10 each. … Miami is 21-20 in the middle of the season.
Durant needed just two points to clear Dominic Wilkins (26,668) for 14th on the NBA’s all-time scorers list. From 17 on Sunday, Durant increased to 26,684.
He is 26 points behind Oscar Robertson at number 13 (26,710).
The Miami Dolphins are on a five-game losing streak and will face the Buffalo in the NFL wild-card round this weekend. If the Heat make the playoffs this season, it would be the first time since 2009 that Miami NBA and NFL teams play postseason games in the same year.
“It was great for the city,” said Spoelstra, who spent the day with the Dolphins during their training camp. “I just love seeing teams come together, especially when things get tough and things come out.”
Nets: Thursday will host Boston.
Heat: Tuesday will host Oklahoma City.
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