DALLAS — James Harden performed the whole fourth quarter of the Nets’ 102-99 win over the Mavericks on Tuesday evening, whereas Kevin Durant did him one higher and performed the entire second half.
Don’t anticipate both to take off Wednesday when the Nets play the second evening of back-to-back, at Houston.
“S–t, I’d play 48 [against the Rockets]. Simply ’trigger,” Durant mentioned. “Give y’all one thing to speak about.”
Harden logged 41:35 Tuesday, and Durant performed 40:30. Durant is averaging 36.2 minutes, greater than three minutes above his common final season.
“I do know individuals could also be involved about my minutes and I obtained injured earlier than and all this additional s–t. However we’ll determine that out if I get there,” Durant mentioned. “Proper now I need to play basketball.”
After enjoying each ends of simply three back-to-backs final season, if Durant performs in Houston, he may have achieved so in all 5 back-to-backs already this season.
“One factor about me and KD, we like to play basketball. So it don’t matter,” Harden mentioned.
“However [coach] Steve [Nash] has been in that place earlier than, so he form of is aware of and has a sense for the sport. When it’s go time, you’ve gotta put your huge canine on the market to win the sport. Easy.”
Harden may have added incentive to play Wednesday: Will probably be his first recreation again in Houston with a full crowd. Final season’s return, when Harden had a triple-double in a March 3 win, was marred by the pandemic. This can have added emotion.
“I used to be there eight years. My entire total household is there. I’ve obtained loads of issues happening there. However only for me, clearly loads of feelings,” Harden mentioned. “However for me, I’m attempting to get a win. That is about racking up as many wins as we are able to.”
Nic Claxton logged 20:57 Tuesday, by far his most motion since coming back from sickness. He had six factors, 9 rebounds and was a team-high plus-9.
Extra vital, he by no means got here off the ground within the fourth quarter, when he was a plus-14. The Nets had been in a position to change 1-through-5 on protection and at last found out easy methods to gradual Dallas star Luka Doncic. Shifting away from the drop protection clearly obtained the Mavericks out of sync.
Does Claxton assume the Nets will incorporate extra switching with him again?
“I imply, we should always. Groups don’t like that, particularly after I get on the market and so they can’t do nothing with me,” Claxton mentioned. “I’m up there guarding, and it simply creates havoc. Quite a lot of groups don’t need to simply play a one-on-one recreation and while you change it like that it causes groups to go towards the grain.”
The Nets (17-7) are a half-game forward of the Bulls atop the Jap Convention. They’re 9-2 on the highway, the best above .500 on the highway they’ve been at any level in a season in franchise historical past.