NBA roundup: Nets edge Blazers with late tip-in, Kawhi returns as Clippers win
New York, New York - Royce O'Neale tipped in the game-winner with 0.7 seconds left as the Brooklyn Nets edged the Portland Trail Blazers 109-107 to improve their overall record to 7-9 on Thursday.
Kevin Durant, who finished with a game-high 35 points, missed his turn-around jumper, but O'Neale was on hand with a tip-in to help the Nets snap their two-game skid.
Durant went 13-of-22 from the field with eight rebounds, three assists, and a block, clocking up his 26,000th career NBA point along the way, becoming the 19th player to achieve that feat.
The Nets got strong contributions off the bench as Yuta Watanabe added 20 points with seven rebounds, while Ben Simmons had a double-double with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists.
Game-winner O'Neale, who was in the starting line-up, had 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists for the game.
The victory comes after Durant's stinging public criticism of the Nets' starting quality in the continued absence of the suspended Kyrie Irving, who may return for Sunday's game with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Damian Lillard top scored for Portland, who fall to 10-5, with 25 points along with 11 assists. Anfernee Simons added 24 points, and Jusuf Nurkic had 17, including a three-point play to tie the game up with 6.5 seconds to go.
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Kawhi Leonard had minimal impact on his return after 12 games out as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from a 12-point deficit to win 96-91 over the Detroit Pistons.
Leonard scored six points with five rebounds and four assists after not playing since October 24 due to knee stiffness. The two-time NBA Finals MVP, who was in the starting lineup, shot two-of-eight from the field.
Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points in a low-scoring game, while Ivica Zubac pulled down 18 rebounds with nine points.
The Sacramento Kings improved to 8-6 with their fifth straight victory, winning 130-112 over the San Antonio Spurs.
De'Aaron Fox scored a team-high 28 points on 11-of-15 shooting along with eight assists, while Malik Monk added 26 points off the bench. Spurs guard Devin Vassell top scored with 29 points, including four triples.
The Kings' five-game win streak is their first since the 2020-21 season, while it comes after they started the season 0-4, winning eight of their past 10 games.
Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS & EZRA SHAW / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP