AP

Durant scores 27, leads Nets past Hornets 98-94

Nov 5, 2022, 6:47 AM | Updated: 7:40 pm

Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) shoots over the defense of Brooklyn Nets forward Yuta Wata...

Charlotte Hornets guard Terry Rozier (3) shoots over the defense of Brooklyn Nets forward Yuta Watanabe (18) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

(AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 27 points and the Brooklyn Nets erased a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the short-handed Charlotte Hornets 98-94 on Saturday night, improving to 2-0 since Kyrie Irving’s suspension.

Cam Thomas added 21 points for the Nets and Nic Claxton had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Terry Rozier returned from a seven-game absence and led Charlotte with 25 points on six 3-pointers. P.J. Washington and Kelly Oubre Jr. each had 18 points for the Hornets, who’ve lost four straight since beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors.

The Nets followed a romp in Washington by pulling out the victory on the second night of a road back-to-back.

“I think we have rallied around each other,” Durant said. “It’s been a tough week for us and it’s good just to get back to the game. Once the ball is tipped (everything else) goes out the window. We were just waiting to get back to playing. We showed some pride.”

Thomas had only played 15 minutes in the Nets’ first eight games of the season. But the second-year guard has stepped up big the last two games, combining for 38 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in Irving’s absence.

“It was a rough first two weeks of the season for me, so for Coach to have trust in me to close the game out and play me a good amount of minutes the last two games, I can’t thank him enough for that,” Thomas said.

The Hornets outscored the Nets 17-6 to open the fourth quarter to take an 11-point lead and appeared ready to pull away.

Rozier knocked down 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, Nick Richards added a three-point play and Rozier made a free throw after Claxton was assessed a technical foul for disputing a call.

But the Nets came storming back behind Durant and Thomas. They trimmed the lead to two on a corner 3 from Joe Harris, then tied the game when Thomas stole a pass at midcourt and was fouled on a layup attempt. He connected on both free throws with 2:39 remaining.

Thomas gave the Nets the lead on a drive before Washington knocked down a 3 from the top of the key to give Charlotte a 92-91 lead with about a minute to play.

But Durant took over from there.

The 12-time NBA All-Star made a big 3 from the right wing to give the Nets the lead for good and added a baseline jumper to push Brooklyn’s lead to four. Several of Brooklyn’s points came off second-chance points off offensive rebounds and kickouts.

Mason Plumlee got an offensive rebound off a tipped Rozier 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to cut the lead in half before Thomas knocked home two free throws to make it a two-possession game with 14 seconds left.

Rozier missed two 3s on the other end and the Nets (4-6) escaped with the win.

“It hurts,” Oubre said of losing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter. “We have to watch the film and grow from it and learn from it.”

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

Many of the statistics for the game still weren’t available more than an hour after the completion of the game after the league’s stat recording system, Genius Stats, crashed midway through the third quarter at the Spectrum Center and were never restored.

Hornets public relations officials scrambled to secure as many stats as they could by hand by watching film.

After the game, Durant was talking about his team’s solid defense and said, “I wish I had a stat sheet in front of me,” to which a reporter responded, “Yeah, so do we.”

TIP-INS

Nets: Seth Curry returned to action while Ben Simmons was out for the fourth straight game with left knee soreness.

Hornets: Dennis Smith Jr., who has been filling in admirably at point guard in the absence of Rozier and LaMelo Ball, left the game in the first half with a sprained left ankle and did not return. Ball has missed nine games and Rozier was out seven with sprained ankles of their own. “I’m super excited to get him back and I miss him,” Oubre said of Ball. “He is another element to our team. … But I want him to be healthy because he has a long career ahead of him.”

UP NEXT

Nets: At Dallas on Monday night.

Hornets: Host Washington on Monday night.

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Durant scores 27, leads Nets past Hornets 98-94