BROOKLYN (ABC4 Sports) – Playing its second game in New York in as many games, the Utah Jazz ran out of gas in the second half and lost to the Brooklyn Nets Monday night, 114-106.
Kevin Durant had 37 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as Brooklyn pulled away in the second half for the victory.
“He made us pay,” Jazz forward Rudy Gay said about Durant.
Bruce Brown added 22 points for the Nets, while Nic Claxton, starting for ailing center Andre Drummond, made all five shots and scored 11 of his 15 points in the Nets’ 38-point third quarter that broke open the game.
Durant scored 15 in that period and said Brooklyn’s strong play lately has been a team effort.
“I just think we’re rallying around each other,” Durant said. “We’re making big plays, we’re just doing it together more than anything. It’s just a collective effort.”
Donovan Mitchell scored 30 for the Jazz, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Jordan Clarkson added 19 and Mike Conley had 18 points and seven assists after sitting out a victory Sunday at New York to rest his right knee.
The Nets’ two-point halftime lead was down to one before play even began in the second half after they were given a technical foul for a second delay of game violation. But then Claxton made the first two baskets in the third to get their big quarter going.
A 10-0 run midway through the period extended a three-point lead to 75-62 on a basket by Durant, and he made consecutive 3-pointers to make it 84-68 with 2:52 to go in the third.
“Obviously the third quarter was what got us,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Prior to that, the other quarters, at least from a result standpoint we did a pretty good job. I thought our offense didn’t help our defense. We didn’t seem to have the energy that we needed to get out and run.”
The game seemed fully in the Nets’ control when Durant’s 3-pointer made it 108-87 midway through the fourth, but Utah put together a 19-4 surge that trimmed it to 112-106 with 57 seconds to play. Durant then halted Utah’s momentum by throwing a lob pass that Claxton slammed down with 37 seconds remaining.
“I think our offense kind of died a little bit there and it kind of affects what we do on the opposite end,” Conley said. “When you have a guy like KD, it’s tough to come back in those types of situations because he’s so capable of just making plays on his own down the stretch. So we just had some trouble with that.”
Royce O’Neale missed all four shots from the field and had two points. Trent Forrest returned after missing five games with a sprained right wrist and was 1 of 6 for four points.
Utah (45-27) currently has a one-game lead over Dallas for the fourth seed in the Western Conference with ten games remaining.
The Jazz are 1-1 on a six-game road trip, which continues Wednesday night in Boston.