'Incredible' Harden wards off the MagicSports | REUTERS, ASSOCIATED PRESS 18 Jan 2021
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant described new team mate James Harden as "incredible" after the guard recorded a triple-double on his debut for the team in their 122-115 NBA victory over the Orlando Magic.
Harden joined the Nets from the Houston Rockets Thursday to reunite with Durant - his former team mate at Oklahoma City Thunder - and the duo looked dominant in their first game together with the Brooklyn team.
Durant scored a season-high 42 points while Harden, the NBA's MVP in 2018, became the seventh player in NBA history to register a triple-double in his debut with a new team and finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists.
"It was incredible. You could see him trying to figure out the best way to play early on. I felt we all were over-passing, trying to make everybody comfortable," Durant said.
"Then he got into his mode, being aggressive to score. That opened up the whole game for all of us. Glad he got his feet up under him, he's got to keep plugging away, keep getting better each day."
Durant said he was impressed with Harden in the point guard role, with Kyrie Irving missing his sixth straight game due to personal reasons and health and safety protocols.
In San Antonio, DeMar DeRozan scored 24 points and Dejounte Murray had 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Spurs beat undermanned Houston Rockets 103-91 to snap a four-game home losing streak.
In Tampa, Chris Boucher, Kyle Lowry and Fred Van Fleet converted eight straight free throws in the final two minutes, helping Toronto Raptors beat Charlotte Hornets 116-113 for its first winning streak of the season.