The deck was stacked against the Brooklyn Nets.
They suited-up in Phoenix, for the third of their five-game West Coast road trip on the second night of a back-to-back, without two of their three superstars in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. On the other hand, the Suns, who had won six straight, were all healthy for this one.
The game could have gotten out of hands quick, and at halftime, it all seemed done-and-dusted but Brooklyn had other ideas. Led by James Harden, they snapped the hosts' six-game win streak to win 128-124 - their fourth straight victory overall which helps them remain an undefeated 3-0 on this road trip.
Harden sparks 24-point second-half comeback
At halftime, the Suns led 75-54, just slightly off their largest lead of 24. However, over the final 24 minutes powered by Harden, the Nets outscored the Suns 74-49 and 40-24 in the fourth quarter.
The Beard scored 18 (6-9 FGs) and was responsible for another 20 with his seven assists in 17 second-half minutes. Over the final 5:33 minutes of the game, Harden was responsible for 18 of the team's 21-11 game-sealing run including this 3-point dagger late:
HARDEN. DAGGER.@MaimonidesMC Play of the Game 🎥 pic.twitter.com/MDxwzpxjts- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 17, 2021
He finished the game with 38 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds for his fourth 30-point, 10-assist game as a Net. He also became only the second Nets player in franchise history and the first since Vince Carter in 2007 to put up 35/5/10 and 5+ threes.
Joe Harris scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half, as he climbed to second on the franchise's all-time 3-pointers made list. Veteran Jeff Green scored 18, 11 of which came in the second half. Tyler Johnson stepped up, finishing with 17, 14 of which came in the second half.
Overcoming the 21-point halftime deficit, the team recorded their largest halftime comeback since joining the NBA in 1976.
👀 the best 2nd half buckets from the @BrooklynNets 24-point comeback victory in Phoenix! #BrooklynTogether pic.twitter.com/pF3uT6nVAe- NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2021
"This is the true definition of a team; one man, two man goes down. Next man up," Harden said postgame.
CP3's 4th Q heroics go in vain
Much like he has over the Suns' past few games, Devin Booker started the game on fire. He led the way early, as the Suns shot 29-of-45 from the field and 8-of-16 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Book (18 PTS) put in work in the first half 🔥 pic.twitter.com/w8CptrJkOW- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 17, 2021
However, after scoring 33 and 42 in the first two quarters respectively, the Suns couldn't score more than 25 in either quarter of the second half. But Chris Paul, the ultimate competitor, wasn't going to let them get blown out.
As the Nets were making their comeback, he single-handedly carried the Suns in the fourth quarter. He scored 17 of the team's 24 fourth-quarter points but in the end, it wasn't enough.
Chris Paul back-to-back threes ♨️ pic.twitter.com/arKpIXYIZI- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 17, 2021
That late scoring punch was key to keeping the game close as Booker only managed four points in the second half. Paul finished the game with 29 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and zero turnovers.
This game wraps-up the Suns' seven-game homestand, in which they finished 6-1 including impressive wins over Milwaukee, Boston, and Philadelphia. They now travel to New Orleans to play the Pelicans after a couple of days off.
On the other hand, the Nets travel to Los Angeles to play the Lakers in a couple of days and the Clippers on the following Monday (ET).
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