Harden Headed to Nets in Blockbuster Deal
By BRIAN MAHONEY and
AP Sports Writer
James Harden is heading to Brooklyn, joining old teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to give the Nets a potent trio of the some of the NBA’s highest scorers.
The Nets agreed to acquire the three-time scoring champion from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in a move he has sought for weeks, said a person with knowledge of the situation.
Harden is the centerpiece of a four-team deal that also involves Indiana and Cleveland, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade call with the NBA — which signs off on all deals — has not been completed.
Once it is, the Nets will be able to trot out a lineup of three players capable of scoring 25 or more points on any night in a collection of firepower to rival any Big Three in recent years.
They are loading up for a title run with three of the highest-paid players in the league. All are under contract through 2022-23, with Harden and Durant both set to earn more than $40 million in each of the next two seasons.
In the meantime, the Nets were short-handed for their game against the New York Knicks, where coach Steve Nash declined to discuss Harden but did confirm that the players the Nets were trading were not in the building.
NETS 116, KNICKS 109
NEW YORK (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 26 points as the solo superstar before soon centering a Big Three, leading Brooklyn — short-handed after agreeing to a trade for James Harden — past New York.
Durant was already scheduled to play on both nights of a back-to-back for the first time since surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. He maybe had to do a little more than planned after the Nets shook up their roster earlier in the day with a four-team blockbuster highlighted by the acquisition of Harden.
With point guard Kyrie Irving missing a fifth straight game for personal reasons, the Nets had only nine players.
Julius Randle scored 30 points for the Knicks. They have lost five in a row.
MAVERICKS 104, HORNETS 93
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Luka Doncic had 34 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and a career-high four blocks, Kristaps Porzingis scored 16 points in his return from a knee injury and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Charlotte Hornets.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18 points to help Rick Carlisle become the 16th coach in NBA history to win 800 games. The Mavericks have won four straight after opening 2-4.
Porzingis played for the first time since having knee surgery in October. The 7-foot-3 Latvian played 21 minutes, finishing 6 of 16 from the floor and 4 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc. He had four rebounds.
BUCKS 110, PISTONS 101
DETROIT (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his 20th triple-double and Milwaukee beat Detroit for the third time this month.
The Bucks built a big early lead with a flurry of 3-pointers. Brook Lopez connected three times from beyond the arc in the first quarter, when the Bucks were 7 of 11 from long distance.
Detroit was 4 of 20 overall in the period and trailed 27-13 after one.
Jrue Holiday added 21 points for the Bucks. Jerami Grant had 22 for Detroit.