Seth Curry helps lead Nets to 111-97 win over Trail Blazers

The Brooklyn Nets bench reacts to a 3point shot by guard Seth Curry (30) against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in New York.
AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh

The Nets rode the offensive wave of Seth Curry’s 29-point day on their way to a 111-97 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. 

The Brooklyn sharpshooter set a new best for points he scored as a member of the Nets, which originally had been 27 which he set last March against the Trail Blazers. Curry put up 13 of his total points in the fourth quarter to help the Nets hold off a pesky Portland team. 

“It’s fun to see especially when they go in,” Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said. “You see the confidence that he has in his shot and the rhythm that he started to regain just from not playing and, you know, having offseason surgery, so it adds a dynamic to our group just because of the pace that we can play with.

“And if you want to double-team (Kyrie Irving), Kevin (Durant), there’s some guys on the east side who can really shoot the basketball.”

After the Trail Blazers pulled within one early in the fourth, Curry knocked down a 24-foot three-point shot to give the Nets an 87-83 lead. Jerami Grant cut the lead back to two, but a driving layup by Curry gave Brooklyn some more breathing room before Jusuf Nurkic cut it to an 89-87 Nets’ lead. 

Curry, who finished the night shooting 11-of-15 from the field and 7-of-10 from beyond the arc, hit a crucial three again with 8:44 left in the game to extend the Nets’ lead to 92-87. Brooklyn went on a 9-3 run to take a 101-90 lead and Kyrie Irving appeared to hit the dagger three with 2:35 left in the game. 

“I always feel like if I get good shots I’m gonna make them at a high clip, so it’s just a matter of what our offense looking like,” Curry said. “How I’m moving. It’s not really about my rhythm, it’s more about, just like I said, our offense flowing pretty well. Guys found me open early on to start the game and so felt pretty good. Aggressive, just try to attack off the bounce when I could and just tried to hunt shots for myself.

“I think it was just my big night was a product of the way we were playing offense.”

While the game wasn’t a defensive showcase for the Nets, their offense managed to outlast the Trail Blazers. Brooklyn shot 52.6% from the field in the win and 42.9% from three-point range, while outscoring them in the paint 44-40 and holding an edge in fastbreak points 13-6

Defensively, the Nets also locked things down in the second half of the game, holding the Trail Blazers to just 40 points in the final 24 minutes and giving up just 17 points in the fourth quarter. 

Durant finished the day with a game-high 31 points, as well as five assists and five rebounds. Irving had 22 points of his own on 8-of-17 shooting and Nic Claxton added 12 points and seven assists. 

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts after scoring a 3-point shot against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in New York.AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh

Ben Simmons dominated the defensive glass for the Nets, getting 11 of his 12 rebounds on the defensive side of the floor. 

“We got stops. They were shooting 50% for the first half. Between the middle of the third they  ended up shooting 44% from three so that shows our defense came to play in the second half,” Durant said about stopping Portland. 40 points in the second half. I mean, it’s the second quarter really. They had 24, 23, 17 in three out of the four quarters, so defense won this game for us.”

The Trail Blazers again gave the Nets fits throughout the afternoon, starting in the opening period of basketball. The two sides traded baskets to start the first quarter before a Simmons driving layup tied the game up at six. 

Four quick points from Royce O’Neale and Durant put the Nets up 10-6, but the Trail Blazers responded with five quick points of their own to move back in front by one. In the first quarter alone, the game was tied four times and the lead changed six times before the Nets opened up a seven-point lead late in the quarter. 

An Edmond Sumner jumper put the Nets up by four with 1:32 left in the first and Seth Curry hit a three to give them a 29-22 lead. A jump shot by Irving made it 31-24 with 17.4 seconds left on the clock. 

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The Trail Blazers chipped away at the lead again, starting with Jerami Grant hitting three straight baskets to cut the Nets’ lead to just one with 8:33 left in the second. A fadeaway jumper by Josh Hart gave Portland a 34-33 lead on their next possession. 

Portland’s largest lead of the quarter came when they took a six-point advantage with just over five minutes to play, but Irving and Duran each hit a three to erase one-point leads for the Trail Blazers. A three-point shot by Irving with 36.6 left in the half tied the game and a pair of free throws by Nic Claxton with less than 20 seconds left sent Brooklyn into halftime with a 58-57 lead. 

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