The Nets offense was humming against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday night — James Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant finished with a combined 90 points on just 51 shots from the field. But it was one crucial stretch in the fourth quarter that really showed the idealized version of this trio.
With just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Paul George hit a pair of free throws to give the Clippers a five-point lead. Durant answered with a pull-up 2-pointer. Then Kyrie hit a pull-up 3. Then a layup. Then another pull-up 3. Then Harden hit a pull-up 3-pointer of his own. I think you see where this is going.
Kyrie, Durant and Harden were absolutely unguardable against some of the best perimeter defenders in the league
During those final seven minutes, Durant, Irving and Harden scored 21 straight points for the Nets, enough to put them in front for good. Another Net didn’t score until Jeff Green hit a layup with five seconds left to extend the lead. If the numbers sound impressive you should actually watch them go to work:
Remember that Kyrie, Harden and Durant weren’t just doing this against rookies and fringe players. They did their damage against Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, two of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
The Nets’ unstoppable offense carried them to the win, which will have to be the pattern for at least a while as they figure out how to defend at even a passable level. The Nets’ defensive efficiency since the Harden trade, if sustained across an entire season, would rank as one of the worst marks in NBA history. But when you’re scoring like this, it just doesn’t matter.