James Harden and Kevin Durant combined for 47 points on Tuesday night as the Brooklyn Nets retained their top spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The Durant-Harden pair also combined for 16 rebounds and 15 assists as the Nets rallied from a 17-point deficit in the third quarter to upstage the Dallas Mavericks 102-99 on the latter’s home floor.
Kevin Durant played over 40 minutes against the Mavericks while Harden played one minute more, totalling close to 42 minutes for the Brooklyn Nets on the night. Speaking about their heavy workload versus the Mavericks, Harden said it was a non-factor. He remarked:
“One thing about me and KD, we love to play basketball. It don’t matter. We can play whole 48, you know we exhausted…we want to stay in the game. We want to play. Steve [Nash] has been in that position before so he kinda knows and got a feeling for the game. When it’s go time, you got to put your big dogs out there to go win the game. Simple.”
Durant, Harden logging extra minutes for Brooklyn Nets in recent games
Kevin Durant is averaging 36.2 mpg for the Brooklyn Nets this season. That is the most minutes Durant has averaged since the 38.5 mpg he averaged for the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2013-14 season, which was his MVP season. In his last few games for the Nets, Durant clocked a season-high 45 minutes against the Phoenix Suns on November 27. He also played 39 minutes in the win over Cleveland on November 22 and 40-plus minutes against the New York Knicks on November 30.
James Harden, meanwhile, played for nearly 40 minutes in the loss to Phoenix. The nine-time All-Star also played the same amount of time in the games against New York and Chicago (December 4). The most minutes Harden has clocked this season is the 41 minutes of playing time he aggregated against Orlando on 19 November.
With Kyrie Irving not playing for the Brooklyn Nets this season, it is only natural that Durant and Harden will continue to log heavy minutes for their team. Durant is averaging 28.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 5.4 apg while shooting 52.9% from the floor for the Brooklyn Nets. Harden, on the other hand, is averaging 20.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg and 9.6 apg for the Nets this season.
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