James Harden records a triple-double in his Nets debut
James Harden delivered 32 points and a triple-double in his Brooklyn debut, Kevin Durant scored a season-high 42 points in his first game back with his former teammate, and the Nets showed off their potent potential in a 122-115 victory over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
Harden had 14 assists and 12 rebounds after being cleared to play earlier in the afternoon after all the players in the blockbuster trade that brought him from Houston had completed their physicals. Harden also had nine turnovers.
He had no practice time with the Nets and sure didn’t need it, becoming the first player in franchise history to have a triple-double in his debut.
“Early on I felt like we all were overpassing, trying to make everybody comfortable,” Durant said, “and then he just got into his mode of being aggressive to score and that opened up the whole game for others.”
Durant made five three-pointers in his 10th game back following an 18-month layoff after rupturing his Achilles tendon in the 2019 NBA Finals. He hiked his average to 30.7 points, which would be his highest since he scored a league-leading 32 per game and won NBA MVP honors for Oklahoma City in 2014.
Nikola Vucevic had 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the short-handed Magic. They have lost five straight.
“I mean, they’re whatever, they’re, two of the four, five best offensive players in the world,” Orlando coach Steve Clifford said.
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