With a Nets team missing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the Suns were heavily favoured at home but Brooklyn pulled off one of the most impressive comebacks of the season and won 128-124.
Phoenix jumped out a 33-22 lead in the first quarter while shooting 56.5% from the field. They were even better in the second, recording 42 points to grab a 75-54 halftime lead. By the end of the third quarter, Brooklyn sliced Phoenix’s lead to 100-88. The Nets would pull within 108-106 midway through the fourth after a corner three-pointer from Tyler Johnson but the Suns responded with a dunk from Deandre Ayton and another three from Mikal Bridges. It looked like they would regain control.
With 31 seconds on the clock, Harden’s three-pointer from a few feet beyond the arc gave the Nets their first lead of the game at 126-124 and he converted two more free throws with 11.3 seconds remaining to polish off the win. The Suns did not score over the final 2:48 of the game.
The Nets megastar had to play exceptionally with Kevin Durant out with a hamstring injury and Kyrie Irving held out with lower back tightness. His highest-scoring night as a Net ended with 38 points on 14-for-22 shooting from the floor (5-for-11 from deep) and 5-for-5 shooting at the free-throw line aiding his team in a huge comeback effort.
In 37 minutes, The Beard also wound up with yet another double-double, recording 11 assists. Harden now has four 30-plus-point, 10-plus-assist games as a Net — that’s the most by a Net in a single season. Devin Harris also had four in the 2008-09 season.
“All vibes in (the locker room) right now,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “Guys are rightfully excited, it’s great for morale. Missing Kevin and Kyrie and finding a way to make up a 24-point deficit. They showed a lot of heart.”
Brooklyn won its fourth straight game in a triumphant return to Phoenix for coach Steve Nash. The Suns had their six-game winning streak snapped. The Nets were also about to pull off their biggest halftime comeback since joining the NBA in 1976.