Nets draw big games from Kevin Durant, Seth Curry to beat Damian Lillard-less Blazers

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant started another scoring streak, while Seth Curry had his highest-scoring game in Nets uniform as Brooklyn opened a seven-game home stand with a 111-97 win over the Damian Lillard-less Portland Trail Blazers.

Lillard could only watch from the sidelines while Curry sparked the Nets’ breakaway with 13 fourth-quarter points. Curry finished with a season-high 29 points off the bench. His previous scoring high with Brooklyn is 27 points, which also came against Portland last March.

In both games, Curry lit up the Trail Blazers with seven three-pointers.

Curry scored 10 of Brooklyn’s first dozen points in the fourth quarter as the Nets pulled away from a tight 84-83 score.

Meanwhile, Durant led the Nets with 31 points, his second straight 30-point performance after his streak of 17 games with 25-plus points ended four games ago.

Kyrie Irving added 22, while Ben Simmons’ recent double-figure scoring streak was snapped. Simmons took only three shots and wound up with two points, but he did everything else with 12 rebounds, eight assists and three steals.

The Nets’ vaunted defense returned as they held the Trail Blazers to only 40 points in the second half, including 17 in the pivotal fourth quarter. Their defense was sharp, opposite from their fourth-quarter collapse in Indiana last Friday.

Jerami Grant led Portland with 29 points, while Anfernee Simons was held by the Nets’ stingy defense to 15 points on 4 of 14 shooting, ending his longest streak of 20-plus scoring games at eight.

Brooklyn has a chance to climb back to .500 Monday night when they host the lowly Orlando Magic at the backend of a back-to-back schedule.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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