James Harden takes over as Nets hold off Pistons

Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons

FILE – Kyrie Irving #11 and James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets while playing the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on February 09, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

James Harden hit a tie-breaking layup with 97 seconds remaining, while posting another triple-double of 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, as the Brooklyn Nets withstood a late challenge in a 100-95 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night at New York.

The Nets took a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter before withstanding a Detroit comeback attempt. The Pistons briefly held a one-point lead when Mason Plumlee’s dunk made it 91-90 with 2:59 remaining.


Harden then took over the final minutes.

Harden hit two free throws to give the Nets a 92-91 lead with 2:08 remaining, drove on Plumlee for a layup that snapped a 92-92 deadlock, then hit a floater for a 96-92 advantage with 1:04 remaining.

After a free throw by Detroit’s Saddiq Bey cut the Nets’ lead to 96-93 with 43.1 seconds remaining, Harden hit another shot in the lane as the shot clock was winding down with 19.1 seconds left.

The Pistons still had a chance when Plumlee made a layup with 15.8 seconds left but Harden finished it off by hitting two free throws with 13.4 seconds remaining after Jerami Grant nearly intercepted Brooklyn’s inbound pass at midcourt.


Harden’s ninth triple-double with the Nets, and clutch plays in the final minutes, helped Brooklyn improve to 12-1 since a 122-111 loss at Detroit on Feb. 9.

Kyrie Irving added 18 points for the Nets, who shot 48.1 percent from the field and overcame a 6-of-27 night from 3-point range. Landry Shamet chipped in 15 and DeAndre Jordan contributed 14 (all on dunks) to go along with nine rebounds for Brooklyn.

Grant led the Pistons with 22 points but was scoreless in the fourth. Delon Wright and Bey chipped in 13 points for the Pistons, who shot 40.4 percent and missed 24 of 32 tries from 3-point range, including 19 consecutive misses at one point.

Irving and Harden combined for 14 points as the Nets shot 55 percent and held a 26-22 lead after the opening period. Neither team made a 3-pointer in the second quarter and the Nets held a 51-46 at halftime.

The Pistons’ long 3-pointer drought was snapped by Wright with 7:18 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 58-51.

Wright’s 3-pointer was part of a 14-3 third-quarter spurt that brought Detroit within 61-60 on a layup by Grant but the Nets closed the quarter with a 17-6 run for a 78-66 lead heading into the fourth.


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