LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Kevin Durant scored 36 points on a milestone night to help the Brooklyn Nets fend off the Indiana Pacers, 116-109, and claim a badly needed second win of the National Basketball Association regular season.
Kyrie Irving scored 28 points and Nic Claxton chipped in 19 for the Nets, who led by as many as 24 points but were tied at 100-100 with 6:54 to play.
“We stayed poised,” Durant said in an on-court post-game interview.
“They threw a lot of junk in the game, running and jumping us at half-court, pressuring us, trying to speed the game up.”
“I think we took our time, guys made shots down the stretch, got stops as well.”
Brooklyn took a 92-85 lead into the final quarter, but Indiana tied it up on Chris Duarte’s driving layup.
Brooklyn answered with a two-handed dunk from Claxton off a miss by Irving and a pull-up jump shot from Durant, who finally clinched the victory with a pair of free throws.
Durant passed Vince Carter for 19th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He now has 25,752.
“Vince Carter is the first player I watched and idolized as a kid, so it’s pretty cool to pass him up. Glad I’m doing it in a Nets uniform.”
After watching his star-studded team get off to a struggling start this season, Nets coach Steve Nash said he liked what he saw from them on court.
“The win is nice, but I care much more about the process,” Nash said.
“I thought our process was great, our spirit was great. We were connected. We played hard.”
Elsewhere, Sacramento’s Davion Mitchell produced two clutch jump shots in the final 1:26 as the Kings rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to beat the Hornets 115-108 in Charlotte.
Kevin Huerter scored 26 points and Mitchell came off the bench to add 23 for the Kings, who notched their second straight win after starting the season 0-4.
Sacramento outscored Charlotte, 37-18, in the third period, taking the lead for the first time on Matthew Dellavedova’s three-pointer with 3:43 left in the quarter.
Charlotte, coming off an overtime victory over the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday, battled back to regain the lead in the fourth, and it was tied up after Charlotte’s Jalen McDaniels drained a three-pointer with 1:39 remaining.