Nets handle Pelicans, 120-105
It was not unexpected.
With or without Kyrie Irving, the Brooklyn Nets are one of the best teams, if not the best team in team in the NBA.
The Nets looked the part much of the night, even on a night where their best player went down.
The Pelicans went down hard in a 120-105 loss to the Nets.
While the Nets won, they may have lost.
Kevin Durant went down with a knee injury in the second quarter when Herb Jones, on a drive, was contacted by Bruce Brown and Brown then crashed into the left knee of Durant, who left the game.
Durant did not return.
He was diagnosed with a sprained knee but he will undergo an MRI to determine if there is any further damage.
In the absence of Durant, James Harden came up big with 27 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. Patty Mills added 21 points.
Of note was the performance of rookie Cam Thomas of LSU.
The first-round pick of Brooklyn came off the bench to score 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting and six rebounds. The 20-point total was one point short of Thomas’ career high, which he established twice in the previous three games for the Nets as the former Tigers has come on strong of late, scoring in double figures in 10 of his last 14 games.
The Nets took control from the start, taking a 32-22 lead after one quarter and put the game away early, swamping the Pelicans 37-19 in the second quarter to take an insurmountable 69-41 halftime lead. Brooklyn led by as many as 30 points in the second quarter.
The Pelicans played better in the second half but it was much too little, much too late. Give New Orleans credit for continuing to play hard and compete, which is the case on a nightly basis for Willie Green’s team.
Brooklyn scorched the nets to the tune of 54.5 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. The Nets also connected on 16-of-17 free throws (94.1%). Brooklyn handled New Orleans 44-35 on the boards as well.
Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 22 points and eight assists while Josh Hart had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Jones and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 13 points.
The road trip continues for New Orleans (16-27) Monday at Boston.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…