James Harden believes the best is yet to come after producing a late burst of scoring to lead Brooklyn Nets to a 98-85 victory over Miami Heat on Monday.
Harden — who joined the Nets in a blockbuster trade from Houston earlier this month — produced a dazzling burst of fourth-quarter scoring as Brooklyn finally overpowered an under-strength Miami team.
The 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player poured on 16 of his 20 points in the final period to lead the Brooklyn scoring alongside Kevin Durant, who also had 20.
Harden and Durant’s contributions in the fourth quarter proved decisive, with the duo making a succession of three-pointers as Brooklyn reeled off 15 points.
Kyrie Irving had 16 points, while Joe Harris finished with 12 and DeAndre Jordan 11. The victory improved the Nets’ season record to 11-8 in the Eastern Conference.
But it was Harden who caught the eye with his game-changing late cameo that swung the contest in Brooklyn’s favor.
Nets coach Steve Nash showered praise on Brooklyn’s star new recruit.
“He was great,” Nash said of Harden.
Durant has now scored 20 points or more in 14 straight games.
Elsewhere on Monday, LeBron James conjured another virtuoso performance for Los Angeles Lakers in a 115-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Ohio.
James finished with 46 points, eight rebounds and six assists to subdue his former club.
Lakers back on top
The win nudged the Lakers back into first place in the Western Conference standings, with 14 wins and four defeats. Los Angeles Clippers is second on 13-4.
The results: Nets 98 bt Heat 85; Cavaliers 108 lost to Lakers 115; Detroit Pistons 119 bt Philadelphia 76ers 104; Mavericks 113 lost to Nuggets 117; Bulls 103 lost to Celtics119; Warriors 130 bt Timberwolves 108; Trail Blazers 122 lost to Thunder 125; Magic 117 bt Hornets 108; Pacers 129 bt Raptors 114.