Brooklyn, which has won 14 of its last 15 games, took the opportunity to grab third place in the Eastern Conference from Cleveland.

The Nets led by 10 points when Durant left the field less than two minutes from time after an offensive foul.

Irving, who played a key role alongside LeBron James in Cleveland's 2016 coronation, had the last laugh against his former team.

The Nets' nine-game winning streak is the longest since a 14-game winning streak in the 2005/06 season.

During the first half, Durant passed former San Antonio Spurs star Tim Duncan for 15th place on the list of all-time leading scorers in NBA history, as the Nets quickly took the lead. advantage.

"Being able to pass one of the greatest players of all time, a legend - someone who changed the game - is something I'm going to talk to my parents about tonight," Durant said.

Decisive Paul George

"I want to celebrate these little things, but also keep pushing forward. I know I still have things to do," the 34-year-old winger said.

Darius Garland scored 18 of 46 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Cavaliers in the game, but it wasn't enough due to the inside performance of Cleveland star Donovan Mitchell, author of only 15 dots.

TJ Warren added 23 points for the Nets, who became the second Eastern Conference team to beat Cleveland at home this season.

Brooklyn's rise follows a disastrous start to the season, which included the firing of coach Steve Nash and the suspension of Irving on anti-Semitism charges.

Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George during the first quarter of the NBA game against the Sixers in Philadelphia on December 23, 2022 © Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives

Current coach Jacque Vaughn said the secret to this turnaround was simple.

"Every day we try to come together as a team and think about how we can improve," he said.

In Detroit, the Los Angeles Clippers dominated overtime to beat the Pistons (142-131).

Paul George scored seven of his 32 points in overtime as Los Angeles emerged victorious from a fierce battle.

The Pistons, dead last in the East, seemed to be off to a good start when they extended their lead to 14 points with 3:34 remaining and the Clippers removed George from the floor.

But Detroit then managed just two free throws and Terance Mann scored his first field goal of the game to snatch overtime for the Clippers, who sit fourth in the West.

The Heat hold on

In New Orleans, Naji Marshall scored 22 points, the best score of his career, to lead the Pelicans, however deprived of key players, to a victory over the Indiana Pacers (113-93).

Jonas Valanciunas added 20 points and 12 rebounds and CJ McCollum had 19 points for the Pelicans, who were without leading scorer Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.

The Miami Heat, which was playing without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves (113-110).

Max Strus led the Heat with 19 points and Kyle Lowry added 18. Tyler Herro scored 14 points, including a jump shot in the corner over Austin Rivers, 33.2 seconds from the end, which gave Miami a 113-108 lead.

Opposite, Anthony Edwards scored 29 points for the Timberwolves.


In San Antonio, Devin Vassell scored 24 points and Keldon Johnson added 21 for the Spurs, who hung on late in the game and won a valuable victory over the Utah Jazz (126-122).

The locals led by 14 points with 2:36 left in the game.

Utah, thanks to 32 points and 12 rebounds from Finland's Lauri Markkanen, cut the deficit to three points twice before the Spurs finally prevailed.

© 2022 AFP