NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie
Irving made his first seven shots, sparked a big bench celebration with a one-handed follow slam after he finally missed and scored 27 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs 139-103 on Monday night for their 12th straight victory.
Kevin Durant added 25 points and 11 assists for the Nets (25-12), who have ridden the longest winning streak in the NBA this season to within a game of Boston for the best record in the league. Brooklyn has won 16 of its last 17 games.
Irving shot 11 for 14, Durant was 10 for 14 and neither played in the fourth quarter for the Nets, who are 23-7 under Jacque Vaughn. T.J. Warren finished with 18 points and Brooklyn shot 62% from the field.
The Nets never trailed for the second straight game in an easy start to the new year after going 12-1 in December. They are two wins shy of matching the franchise’s longest winning streak, having won 14 in a row twice while based in New Jersey.
Irving was 6 for 6 in the first quarter, with three 3-pointers, for 15 points and the Nets shot 64% in opening a 37-25 lead.
He finally missed on a 3-pointer in front of the Brooklyn bench but had teammates rushing off the sideline moments later screaming and celebrating when he streaked into the lane after Yuta Watanabe’s missed jumper and slammed it down for a 46-27 lead.