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Brooklyn Nets pull away from Trail Blazers late, winning 111-97 to kick off 7-game homestand

The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday ahead of a back-to-back set that continues against the Magic on Monday.

Portland Trail Blazers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets kicked off a 7-game homestand on Sunday with a nice win over the Portland Trail Blazers, 111-97. Seth Curry and Kevin Durant led the way for the Nets, with Curry hitting 7-of-10 from three, for 29 points (Nets career-high), and Durant dropping 31 points on 12-of-20 shooting.

The Nets are now 10-11.

Durant was fantastic in this one. In addition to his 12-of-20 shooting, KD hit 3-of-6 from deep while recording five boards and five assists. And Curry is once again the game’s top active 3-point shooter by percentage...

Overall, Curry put the Blazers on ice in the fourth, scoring 13 points in the quarter while hitting 3-of-5 3-pointers. For the game, he was 7-of-10. For the season, he’s now shooting 43.9%. “I always feel like if I get good shots, I’m going to make them at a high clip.”

And it wasn’t just the Nets who are impressed…

“Stuck to our principles, try to stay in front of guys,” Curry said postgame. “If we don’t foul, our front-side defense is pretty good.”

Jacque Vaughn said of Curry’s game, “It was fun to see,”

The Nets head coach took off from there to talk about the team’s goals.

“I’ll got back to that quintessential word: winning,” said Vaughn. “We’ve got to win ballgames. We should have won the Indiana game. Go on back, watch the film. Have seven turnovers in the fourth quarter. Have our group out there the majority of time that started the game. Have defensive breakdowns like we did to end the game. Lose our poise and composure like we did at the end of the game.

“Can’t happen. Just because we’re at home, some of those same problems could arise. How we respond to it is key. We talked about this should be a good homestand for us. We get a chance to sleep in our own beds, play on our own court, have our own fans behind us, but you’ve got to take care of our business, and the goal is to win every single game we play.”

The game played out as expected, with both teams leaning into their offensive prowess, especially early on. They each shot over 50 percent from the floor in the first half but in the end it was the Nets defense that was able to get stops down the stretch - in a game that had 16 lead changes and nine ties - just as it seemed like the teams were trading baskets.

The Nets held the Blazers to just 17 fourth-quarter points.

Brooklyn forced 13 turnovers to just seven on their side of the ball. Ben Simmons (three steals) and Nic Claxton (two) used their length and athleticism to disrupt the Blazers offense.

For Portland it was another strong performance from Jerami Grant (26 points) who has done a fantastic job of helping to keep this Portland team afloat while Damian Lillard remains out due to injury.

Portland also took advantage of their size in the middle with Jusuf Nurkic having a considerable size advantage over the Nets, but down the stretch the athleticism of the Nets took over.

Joe Harris continued his struggles - he did hit a big three that led to a 4-point play in the third quarter (that three got his teammates all riled up), but overall he shot just 1-of-6 from the floor (all threes). Over the last four games, the most senior Nets player is 3-of-24, or 12.5% overall and 3-of-22 from deep.

As Richard Jefferson says, “he’s coming off an ankle surgery, people!!”

Seth Curry was asked if he had advice for his fellow sharpshooter.

“Yeah stick to your routines, keep working hard and try not to lose your confidence,” Curry said. “That’s pretty much the basis of it. I always say I’m a big believer in the law of averages so [during] off stretches or when I’m out of rhythm a little bit, [I believe] it’ll come back to you. So sooner or later he’s going to have a stretch where he makes everything. Just stick to your routines, don’t get down on yourself and keep being aggressive.”

Kyrie Irving kept the Nets in the game at a few critical points tallying 22 points and 6 assists, while Ben Simmons was relatively quiet, at least in the scoring column with just two points. But he tallied eight assists and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes all the time guarding various Blazers scorers from Anfernee Simons to Jusuf Nurkic.

“We kept using the word aggressive in any sort of timeout or gathering together,” Vaughn said, summing up the win. “We want to be the aggressors on every possession.

“Going into the fourth, up four, what was our mindset going to be? Were we going to be locked-in each possession? The group that started the fourth started out playing very well, pushing the pace, rebounding the ball; the group that finished did the same thing. The mentality, come in ready to play, locked-in fourth quarter, let’s get a win.”

Milestone Watch

Kevin Durant had his 50th 30-point game with the Nets, joining Vince Carter as the only players in Nets history with 50 30-pt games, per NBA Stats.

KD also joins LeBron as the only players in NBA history with 50 30-pt games with 3 different franchises.

Durant has now scored at least 20 points against the Portland Trail Blazers for 22 consecutive games, which is tied for the third longest streak against the Blazers in NBA history.

For just the fifth time in franchise history the Nets have swept the season series against the Blazers.

Vaughn confirms T.J. Warren expected back this week

Jacque Vaughn was asked about Shams Charania report that T.J. Warren could return by Friday vs. the Raptors. He also thinks Yuta Watanabe should be back this week as well. “We’re trending that way,” he said in confirming Shams report.

Warren hasn’t played since December 29, 2020, going through a long rehab from foot surgery the next month.

Meanwhile, Seth Curry told reporters that he’s hoping to play Tuesday vs. the Magic. Curry did not play the back end of a back-to-back last week.

As Sponge Bob might say the most basic terms

Up next

Up next, the Brooklyn Nets are home to the Orlando Magic on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. est.

For more on the Blazers, check out Blazers Edge.