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James Harden, Nets bounce back with win over Cavaliers


James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets is defended by Ricky Rubio #3 and Isaac Okoro #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during their game at Barclays Center on November 17, 2021 in New York City.

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets is defended by Ricky Rubio #3 and Isaac Okoro #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during their game at Barclays Center on November 17, 2021 in New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP.

James Harden recorded 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lift the host Brooklyn Nets to a 109-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday.

Harden made all 12 of his foul shots and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to fuel the Nets to their ninth win in their last 11 games.

Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half after finishing with a season-low 19 points in Brooklyn’s 117-99 setback to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.

Patty Mills highlighted his 21-point performance with six 3-pointers.

Cleveland’s Ricky Rubio scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half. Darius Garland added 24 points and Kevin Love had 11 in his return from an eight-game absence due to health and safety protocols.

Cleveland played without rookie Evan Mobley (sprained right elbow) and former Nets center Jarrett Allen (illness) in addition to fellow starters Collin Sexton (torn meniscus) and Lauri Markkanen, who is working his way back from health and safety protocols.

The Cavaliers cut a 23-point deficit to seven after Dean Wade stole the ball and made a dunk at the other end with 4:43 to play in the fourth quarter.

Harden stopped the momentum with a layup and a block on Isaac Okoro at the other end. Aldridge scored from in close and added an alley-oop lay-up to push Brooklyn’s lead to 102-91 with 2:24 to play. The Nets cruised from there.

The Cavaliers found their stroke from beyond the arc to help them chip away at a 21-point halftime deficit.

Garland and Wade drained a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions, and Rubio sank his third of the contest to trim the Nets’ lead to 73-64 with 3:14 remaining in the third quarter.

Brooklyn scored 18 of the first 22 points of the second quarter to take a 43-27 lead. Aldridge exploited the interior with a short hook shot and two dunks in addition to sinking a mid-range jumper in that surge.

The Nets overcame a brief scoring drought before reigniting their offense to seize a 62-41 lead at halftime.

Field Level Media

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