Somehow, someway the Brooklyn Nets escaped with the 102-99 win over Dallas on Tuesday night. Initially, it seemed like the Nets were going to lose the first of their four road games after being down by as many as 17 points in the third quarter, but that wasn’t the case. Kevin Durant came alive in the fourth quarter and led Brooklyn with 24 points (10-of-22), but James Harden was right behind him with 23 points (7-of-13), 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.
What matters most is that Brooklyn found a way to win. Durant and Harden were vital down the stretch and helped the Nets outscore the Mavericks 27-13 in the final quarter. That’s what’s important.
Speaking of the final quarter, Harden was called for a foul on Luka Doncic as he was driving to the basket. Harden was adamant that he got all ball, and Steve Nash challenged the call. Maybe it was because Harden was back in Texas, but the luck was in his favor and the call was overturned.
It was a risky move by Nash. If Brooklyn would’ve lost the challenge, the Nets also would’ve lost their final timeout with 50 seconds left to go in a heated game. Instead, it ended up being a success… for Brooklyn that is.
James Harden’s overturned foul call leads to a win for the Brooklyn Nets.
Harden grabbed the ball while it was in Doncic’s hands, but the referees saw something more at first. After spending a few minutes reviewing the play and coming to the conclusion that Harden didn’t make contact with Doncic, the Nets and Mavericks made their way to half court for the jump ball.
Dallas won the possession, but then promptly missed a shot. After that, the win was all but secured for Brooklyn. If the call would’ve not been overturned, there’s no way to know for sure that the Nets would’ve been able to win that game.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, Brooklyn needs Harden. Hopefully, the final minutes of Tuesday’s game boosted his confidence. After driving to the basket against Doncic, it looked like Harden got some of his power back after he helped to secure the team’s largest lead of the game (three points). Don’t challenge Harden one-on-one.
Following the victory, the Nets will make the short trip to Houston for a game against the Rockets on Wednesday on Harden’s former home court. If there’s ever been a time for him to return to his old form, it’s now.