James Harden’s triple-double leads Nets past Spurs, 117-102

James Harden dribbling ball vs. Spurs grey uniformJames Harden dribbling ball vs. Spurs grey uniform

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — James Harden had 37 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, spoiling Dejounte Murray’s ninth triple-double of the season as the Brooklyn Nets overpowered the San Antonio Spurs 117-102 on Friday night.

Murray had 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his second straight triple-double and 13th of his career, one shy of David Robinson’s franchise record. Harden’s triple-double was his 66th, which is eighth on the all-time list.

Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 for the Nets, who are missing star Kevin Durant because of a knee injury.

Brooklyn’s fifth straight victory over San Antonio marked a successful homecoming for Aldridge and Patty Mills. Both were honored with video tributes and received loud ovations during introductions. Aldridge finished with 16 points and Mills had nine points.

Harden’s collision with Spurs guard Derrick White midway through the third quarter seemed to spark the Nets.

White exited the game with 6:16 remaining after taking an elbow to the nose from Harden on a missed layup. White remained on the court for about 30 seconds before slowing rising and exiting with a towel pressed firmly to his nose while Harden clutched his elbow. White returned to close out the final two-and-a-half minutes of the quarter.

Harden responded with eight straight points, including an emphatic dunk and a three-point play. He finished with 23 points in the second half.

Brooklyn also became more physical in the paint defensively and closed the third quarter with dunks by Aldridge and Bruce Brown as part of a 6-0 run for a 79-74 lead.

White finished with 17 points for San Antonio, and Jakob Poeltl added 15 points and 11 rebounds.


Nets: Mills played his first game in San Antonio as a visitor since March 28, 2011. It was his fifth career game against the Spurs, including the Nets’ home victory Jan. 9. Mills played his first two seasons with Portland prior to a 10-year career in San Antonio. He signed with Brooklyn in the offseason. … Durant missed his third straight game with sprained left MCL … DeAndre’ Bembry returned after missing two consecutive games with a back injury. … Joe Harris remains out after undergoing left ankle surgery Nov. 29. He was expected to miss four to eight weeks, which would bring him back in early February. Harris was averaging 11.3 points and shooting 47% on 3-pointers in 14 games before the injury. … The Nets are 16-5 on the road.

Spurs: Coach Gregg Popovich was assessed a technical foul with 7:15 remaining after demonstratively arguing a non-call. Popovich apparently believed Kessler Edwards had traveled, as did most of the Spurs’ fans. … San Antonio is 8-9 with its regular starting lineup and 9-20 with different lineups. … Spurs assistants Becky Hammon, Mitch Johnson and Darius Songaila remain in the league’s health and safety protocols. … The Spurs are 9-14 at home. … Murray is averaging 23.7 points in his previous 10 games.


Nets: At Minnesota on Sunday.

Spurs: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.


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