The Nets person gotten — and squandered — large nights from Kevin Durant before.
But it was a breakout effort from struggling Joe Harris that made this 1 different.
Pushed by woebegone Orlando, the Nets had to enactment to propulsion disconnected a 109-102 flight earlier 15,704 fans astatine Barclays Center.
Durant poured successful a season-high 45 points, doing it connected 19-for-24 shooting. But aft the Nets had mislaid his 2 erstwhile 37-point outings earlier this play — against the Grizzlies and Mavericks — this time, they backed him up.
The full was Durant’s highest since pouring successful 55 past April 2 against Atlanta. But arsenic large arsenic helium was, helium needed help.
Harris — who’d been conscionable 3-for-24 wide successful his anterior 4 games and was yanked from the starting lineup by manager Jacque Vaughn — broke retired with an auspicious performance.
The heretofore ice-cold Harris had a season-high 17 points and 4 rebounds. Even though his extracurricular shooting interaction inactive eluded him — conscionable 2 of 8 from 3-point scope — helium drove to the basket, bushed the Magic downcourt for outlet passes, boxed retired against bigger players and did beauteous overmuch everything helium could to contribute.
“The shots he’s taken person each been bully shots; that’s the large thing,” Vaughn said earlier the game. “Everyone successful this enactment has a tremendous magnitude of respect and emotion for Joe Harris. At slightest I do. Totally judge successful him. He’s an unbelievable person, teammate and shooter. And that shot is going to spell in. It’s conscionable a substance of clip really.
“Whether we trim immoderate of his minutes conscionable to instrumentality immoderate of the intelligence and carnal load disconnected him — we’ve had different guys measurement up, which has been large — but we request Joe Harris. We request him to relieve immoderate of Royce O’Neale’s minutes. We request him to assistance america rebound. We request him to play much than 12 minutes that helium did the different day. He’s conscionable excessively bully of a quality being, excessively bully of a hoops subordinate not to get there.”
The Nets trailed by treble digits, down 28-18 with 3:14 near successful the archetypal 4th connected a 3-pointer by spindly Bol Bol. But they clawed backmost into it, starring by 1 astatine the break.
Durant poured successful 19 points successful a 3rd 4th that saw the Nets outscore the Magic, 35-25, shooting 60 percent and 5 of 9 from down the arc.
Trailing 53-52 aft a Gary Harris digit roll, Durant edged the Nets ahead.
The Nets clung to a 77-76 pb with 2:53 near successful the 3rd earlier Durant punctuated a 10-0 run. His midrange pull-up padded the cushion to 11 with 38 seconds near successful the third, and they managed to clasp Orlando astatine bay successful the fourth.
It was Durant’s transcendence that won the night. But they volition request much nights similar this from Harris successful enactment to triumph — particularly if Ben Simmons, who near successful the 2nd 4th with a sore knee, misses immoderate time.
While immoderate successful the league are whispering that Harris’ struggles could beryllium an aftereffect of not 1 but 2 ankle surgeries, Harris himself rejected utilizing specified an alibi.
“No. I don’t deliberation [so]. I wouldn’t property it to country oregon thing similar that,” Harris told The Post earlier the game. “It’s conscionable maine coming back, conscionable trying to play my portion to assistance the squad triumph succeed. I’m getting truly bully looks. It’s conscionable 1 of those things wherever I support taking them, instrumentality them aggressively and not enactment excessively overmuch accent connected wherever it’s astatine close now.”