The streak lives on.
The Nets followed their season sweep of the Toronto Raptors with a 124-121 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
It was the largest comeback win of the Nets’ season, and Kevin Durant credited the Nets’ ability to up their physicality against a gritty Pistons team for the victory.
They Nets remain the hottest team in basketball. They are riding a six-game winning streak and have won 13 of their last 16 games. It’s also their seventh straight victory over the Pistons.
And after Kyrie Irving’s first-ever buzzer-beating game-winner to sink the Raptors at the end of the fourth quarter on Friday, the Nets’ two stars powered Brooklyn to victory once again in another explosive scoring night.
Irving used another step back to put the game out of reach. This time he drew a foul on Pistons guard Killian Hayes while shooting a three. He hit the first two free throws before missing the third, giving the Pistons a chance.
Kevin Durant finished with 42 points 14-of-22 shooting from the field. He scored 26 of those points in the third quarter, marking the most in any quarter he’s scored in his career. He passed Paul Pierce and moved up to 16th place on the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list.
“I was able to get some good looks off of screens, and I was really able to just lock into the game plan,” said Durant. “I just tried to do my best to make shots and get into the paint.”
Durant singlehandedly gunned Brooklyn back into the game at the end of the third quarter. After the Pistons built an 18-point lead by slicing into the the Nets’ interior defense, the Nets’ star went on his own personal 10-0 run, including three consecutive pull-up threes, the last two of which were in a two-for-on situation with less than 40 seconds on the game clock in the third quarter.
It was also Durant’s third straight 40-point game against the Pistons and marked his ninth 40-point game in a Nets jersey. He’s the first player to score 40 in three straight games against Detroit since Rick Barry did it for San Francisco in 1966.
Durant needs to score 40 three more times, however, to catch Irving hit that mark in 12 such games.
Irving finished with 36 points on 13-of-23 shooting. He finished 5-of-10 from downtown and got to the rim almost at will.
Ben Simmons played 25 minutes and finished with four points, eight assists and eight rebounds. He could not stay on the floor late into the fourth quarter out of fear the Pistons would intentionally send him to the foul line.
Simmons is historically a poor free throw shooter and is shooting 51.4% from the line on the season.
Ex-Net Bojan Bogdanovic powered a second-quarter Pistons run with a flurry of scoring. The Croatian forward scored 26 points but missed a contested look at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
The Nets’ recent success has been in part due to a lighter schedule, but they will be tested in the coming weeks.
They host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday — though the Warriors will be without Stephen Curry — then play the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks.