Kevin Durant returned to Golden State for the first time since leaving the Warriors in free agency in 2019 as his new-look Brooklyn Big 3 cruised to a 134-117 win at Chase Center.
Durant, who had missed the team's past three games due to the league's COVID-19 health and safety protocols, finished with 20 points, six assists and five rebounds as the Nets improve to 16-12, good for third in the Eastern Conference.
Steph Curry led the Warriors with 27 points and five assists on a tough shooting night, going 10-of-17 from the field and 2-of-9 from deep.
For more on tonight's win, here are the key takeaways:
Big 3 and then some
While there are plenty of question marks surrounding the Nets' defence, their offensive production is downright scary when Irving, Durant and Harden are firing on all cylinders.
With tonight's win, they improve to a 5-1 record when all three have been available, with the trio either scoring or assisting on 100 points!
Kyrie Irving added 23 points, five rebounds and four assists, while James Harden went for 19 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds.
The Nets are 9-1 vs teams that are .500 or better this season.- StatMuse (@statmuse) February 14, 2021
The best record in the league. pic.twitter.com/wu9Q5aEQmu
After leading 66-51 at the half, the Nets blew the game open with a monster third quarter, scoring 42 points on 18-26 from the field, recording 13 assists and just one turnover.
"Any given night it could be anyone of us," Durant said post-game
"Handling, initiating the offence, scoring, defending and everybody is doing such a great job putting us in good positions to be successful from our trammates to our coaches, were just trying to keep working, keep grinding keep building."
It wasn't just the Big 3, the Nets had six players score in double figures on the night with Bruce Brown adding 18 points, Joe Harris 15 and Jeff Green 14 on a night where they reached the 130-point mark for the seventh time this season.
Just 28 games into this season, that matches their franchise-record, previously achieved in 2018-19.
Weclome back Kevin Durant
In his first game back in Golden State, the Warriors welcomed Kevin Durant with a touching video tribute from his time in the Bay.
Hugs all around after KD's first game back in the Bay Area 🤝 pic.twitter.com/qxuhy2A1KE- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2021
"It felt good, it's good to see everybody," Durant said of his return to the Golden State.
"Wish Klay [Thompson] was healthy but its good to be back in the Bay Area, I loved my time here, loved playing for this team but I'm glad we came in here and got a good W."
Durant won two NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP's in his three seasons with the Warriors, leaving a huge mark on the franchise.
Welcome back to The Bay, @KDTrey5 💙 pic.twitter.com/RQHA09C4kY- Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 14, 2021
Harden the playmaker
With Durant and Irving acting as the team's primary scorers, the luxury of having James Harden on your team was in full display for the Nets as The Beard settled into the role of the team's facilitator, casually racking up 16 assists.
A Nets franchise record for assists in a single game, mind you!
James Harden is the first Nets player with multiple 15 assist games in a season since Deron Williams (2) in the 2011-12 season.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 14, 2021
Harden notched his 20th career game with 15 points & 15 assists.
Since Harden entered the league in 2009 that is 5th-most in NBA during that span. pic.twitter.com/VVta9lBkrh
On the night, the Nets dished out a season-high 35 assists on 50 made field goals.
Harden dropping a full-court dime to KD 😮 pic.twitter.com/F5hgwMbHZ9- NBA TV (@NBATV) February 14, 2021
The Nets continue their five-game road trip when they visit the Sacramento Kings on Monday (E.T.), while the Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday.
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