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Durant sprains left knee in Nets’ victory over Pelicans

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) leaves the game after injuring his knee during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022 in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

By The Associated Press

James Harden had 27 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets cruised to a 120-105 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night despite losing Kevin Durant in the first half to a left knee sprain.

Durant was hurt with 5:44 left in the second quarter when New Orleans forward Herbert Jones was driving down the court and crashed into Nets backup guard Bruce Brown, who fell backward into Durant’s knee.

Durant briefly limped around the court before asking to be taken out of the game. He finished with the 12 points and was walking with a limp when he left the arena midway through the fourth quarter. Coach Steve Nash said Durant he will have an MRI exam Sunday.

Patty Mills added 21 points, and Kessler Edwards had 16 for the Nets. They never trailed.

Brandon Ingram scored 22 points for New Orleans.

RAPTORS 103, BUCKS 96

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Pascal Siakam had 30 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his second career triple-double and Toronto overcame an early 15-point deficit to beat cold-shooting Milwaukee.

OG Anunoby added 24 points to help the Raptors improve to 3-0 this season against the defending champion Bucks, who shot a season low 33.8%. Toronto has won five straight in the series.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 30 points, making all 17 of his free throws but going 6 of 17 from the field. He didn’t play in the previous two games with Toronto this season, with the Raptors winning 97-93 in Toronto on Dec. 2 and 117-111 in Milwaukee on Jan. 5.

After spending two minutes on the bench with five fouls, Siakam returned with 6:46 left in a tie game and made a jumper 21 seconds later. After Antetokounmpo tied it again with two free throws, Siakam hit a corner 3-pointer in front of the Bucks’ bench with 5:53 left to put the Raptors back in front for good.

KNICKS 117, HAWKS 108

ATLANTA (AP) — RJ Barrett scored 26 points, Julius Randle added 24 and New York beat Atlanta for its third straight victory.

The Knicks improved to 22-21, the first time they’ve been over .500 since Dec. 2. They have won five of six, but began the night in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

Trae Young led Atlanta with 29 points, and Danilo Gallinari had 17. The Hawks have dropped five straight and nine of 11 to fall to 17-26.

CAVALIERS 106, THUNDER 102

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Darius Garland had 27 points and a career-high 18 assists and Cleveland overcame an 18-point deficit to beat Oklahoma City for its fourth straight victory.

Lauri Markkanen made a 3-pointer with 11.4 seconds remaining to secure the victory, Cleveland’s fifth on a six-game, nine-day trip.

Garland tied Phoenix’s Chris Paul for the most assists in a game this season. Evan Mobley added 20 points, and Jarrett Allen had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 27 points. They have lost six of seven

TRAIL BLAZERS 115, WIZARDS 110

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 31 points and tied a career high with 11 assists, Jusuf Nurkic had 23 points and 14 rebounds and Portland beat Washington.

Simons had 26 points in the first half, hitting seven 3-pointers.

Spencer Dinwiddie had 27 points for Washington, and Kyle Kuzma added 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Wizards played without scoring leader Bradley Beal for the third straight game, as well as coach Wes Unseld Jr., because of health and safety protocols. Assistant Pat Delany replaced Unseld.

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