LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Kyrie Irving finished with 27 points and nine assists as the Brooklyn Nets stretched their winning streak to a season-high eight games with a 129-92 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday.
The Nets recorded their most one-sided win of the season by shooting 61 percent from the floor over the last three quarters.
“We put a few possessions together and we ended the first quarter well and I feel like that put us in position to take control of the pace of the game,” Irving said.
James Harden finished with 20 points, seven assists and nine rebounds for the Nets, who nailed 20 three pointers in front of a pandemic-limited crowd of 327 people at the Barclays Center.
Reserve Landry Shamet added 19 while Joe Harris and Bruce Brown chipped in 14 apiece in a dominant win.
Brooklyn is on its longest winning streak since 2006 and won its sixth straight contest without Kevin Durant with a strained left hamstring.
Nikola Vucevic tallied 28 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando, which suffered its worst loss of the season, missing 27 of 36 threes.
“We can’t beat ourselves and we can’t turn the ball over and that’s where it started,” Magic coach Steve Clifford said.
James Ennis added 15 points while Michael Carter-Williams and Dwayne Bacon chipped in 11 each for the Magic, who were outrebounded, 51-35.
Meanwhile, Joel Embiid scored 23 points and pulled down nine rebounds as the first place Philadelphia 76ers took advantage of a rare off night by Luka Doncic to overpower the Dallas Mavericks 111-97 on Thursday.
Embiid shot five of 20 from the field but made 11 of 12 free throws. Ben Simmons added 15 points and seven assists while Seth Curry contributed 15 points for the Sixers, who improved to 14-2 at home.
“I was just being me. Doing what I do,” Simmons said.
Dwight Howard had 14 points and eight rebounds and Shake Milton chipped in 10 points in the rout.
Doncic, who was coming off his best performance of the season in a thrilling win over Boston on Tuesday, scored 19 points but was just three of nine from the floor at the half.
He also missed his first three shots of the game and had five of Dallas’ 14 turnovers in the first half.
“I’m just trying to play my game,” Doncic said.
“Sometimes, I’m going to play better, sometimes worse.”
Josh Richardson added 13, Tim Hardaway had 12 and Jalen Brunson managed 11 for the Mavericks, who had their two-game winning streak halted. Boban Marjanovic had 12 rebounds for Dallas who fell behind 59-43 at halftime.
Dallas played with star forward Kristaps Porzingis who has a lower back injury.
The Sixers led 69-56 halfway through the third despite missing their first seven shots of the quarter.
A late 11-2 burst extended Philadelphia’s lead to 86-68 heading into the fourth.
Tobias Harris played 22 minutes for the Sixers before injuring his right knee and leaving the game. He finished with six points.
In New York, Immanuel Quickley scored 25 points and Alec Burks added 24 off the bench, leading the New York Knicks to a 140-121 victory over the Sacramento Kings.