Durant scores 42, Nets rout depleted Pacers 130-113

NBA

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) drives to the basket as Indiana Pacers guard Edmond Sumner (5) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

INDIANAPOLIS — Kevin Durant scored a season-high 42 points, including 22 in the third quarter, and the Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn Nets glided to a 130-113 victory over the depleted Indiana Pacers on Thursday night.

Playing without Kyrie Irving and James Harden, the Nets built a double-digit lead by the second quarter and were never seriously threatened.

Durant hit 16 of 24 shots and had 10 assists in his eighth start since being sidelined for nearly two months with a hamstring injury. It was the All-Star forward’s third game of 30 points or more since his return, which was also interrupted for three games by a thigh injury.

The Nets are 29-8 since Feb. 10, best in the league, and have clinched a playoff spot.

Alize Johnson had 20 points and 21 rebounds for Brooklyn.

Caris LeVert scored 12 of his 36 points in the first quarter for the Pacers, but the Nets still led 35-28 after one behind Jeff Green’s 12 points in the period. Brooklyn’s advantage reached 66-52 by halftime.

Edmond Sumner added 16 points and Doug McDermott scored 15 for the Pacers, who lost point guard Malcolm Brogdon in the second quarter with a sore hamstring.

The Pacers dropped to 11-19 at home. At 29-33, they’re on track for their second losing season since 2011.

TIP-INS

Nets: Irving (groin) has missed 17 games. Harden (hamstring) last played on April 5.

Pacers: Brogdon missed all five shots and had only one point. … Already without its injured front court including All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis (back), Indiana finished with only one regular starter.

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