Nets hang on to defeat rival Knicks

James Harden Nets Knicks NBA

James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets is surrounded by the New York Knicks during their game at Barclays Center on March 15, 2021 in New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by AL BELLO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Kyrie Irving scored 34 points, James Harden posted another triple-double with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 15 assists as the host Brooklyn Nets held on for a 117-112 victory over the New York Knicks Monday night in New York.

Irving scored nine points in the fourth quarter when the Nets struggled to secure their 13th win in 14 games.

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Harden entered the fourth quarter with one rebound shy of the triple-double and got his 10th triple-double with the Nets 41 seconds into the fourth when he rebounded a missed 3-pointer by Alec Burks.

Despite the big night from Irving and Harden’s latest triple-double, the Nets struggled to put away the Knicks until the final minutes. Brooklyn took a 96-84 lead into the fourth but the Knicks hung around throughout the final 12 minutes.

The Knicks got the lead down to 112-108 on a 3-pointer by Julius Randle with 1:47 left. New York then got the lead down to 115-112 with 10.6 seconds remaining on a dunk by Randle after he won a jump ball from Harden and got a chance to tie it when he won a challenge on a foul call against RJ Barrett with 7.7 seconds left.

After the lengthy review ruled Burks stole the ball from Joe Harris, Randle won a tip from Jeff Green and New York called a timeout with 5.7 seconds left. However, Randle was called for traveling on a pump fake at the 3-point line with 3.2 seconds left and Harden finished it off at the line with six-tenths of a second remaining.

After Harden finished it off, Randle had to be restrained by New York executive William Wesley and tossed a chair in disgust as he headed to the locker room.

Randle totaled 33 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who nearly overcame an 18-point deficit. Barrett added 23 while rookie Immanuel Quickley contributed 21 as the Knicks shot 40.2 percent.

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Green added 20 points and Harris chipped in 13 for the Nets, who shot 57.9 percent.

The Nets won their fifth straight and improved to 13-1 in their past 14 games. Brooklyn also improved to 20-7 with Harden in the lineup as the All-Star notched his sixth triple-double in the past 14 games.

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