Nets overwhelm without Durant: James Harden leads a feast

Nash's offensive display with Kevin Durant resting. Harden's third triple-double with his new jersey and great choral contribution.


Bad news for the rest of the Eastern rivals: The Nets are having fun. For now there are no problems of chemistry or egos or responsibility sharing. It is true that the rotation is still unrepaired, that defense and rebounding are lacking and that the stars have to play almost non-stop against top-level rivals. But the first phase of the coupling of the tremendous warship that this team can be is going well: offensive display in Oklahoma City without Kevin Durant and 125-147 final. Four wins in a row since the double loss to the Cavaliers that set off some very early alarms.

Durant rested and did not return to his old home, almost five years after his tumultuous departure. Yes, James Harden returned, whose times in the Thunder are very far away (he spent eight years in Houston) and who is practicing wonderfully as a facilitator in a team where for now he has perfectly interpreted what is needed of him : He wears three triple-doubles with his new jersey and moved an unstoppable attack in OKC. At least 32 points in all quarters, 57% in shots, 19 triples and nine players in double scoring figures. With the secondaries at this level, the Nets are terrifying: 20 points and 5/9 on 3s from Joe Harris, 19 impeccable points from Bruce Brown and contribution from Shamet, Jeff Green (another OKC back, after all), Luwawu-Cabarrot, Perry ... Yes, the real tests will come against teams with more cache, but ...

With the attack moving the ball very fast and spaces everywhere, James Harden and Kyrie Irving led the charge without the need for heroics and with great efficiency: 25 + 10 + 11 for Harden, 25 + 5 + 7 for Kyrie. And a 0-15 run to open the second quarter (until 27-51) that sent the game to the canvas (59-76 at halftime with the Nets scoring at will) .

13-8 for the Nets and 8-10 for the Thunder, who continue to do their thing. Searching and polishing a hard core in a network full of young talent to organize and with its thousand future draft rounds. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is already a certainty (24 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists), Lu Dort is on it although he had a bad day in shooting (1/9 in triples), Darius Bazley grows (14 + 5 + 4) and the joy of the night was given by Theo Maledon, the 19-year-old French rookie: 24 points, 6/6 in triples. The Thunder draw the first sketch of their future, the Nets are pure present. One that is a very, very serious threat in the East.

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