Cavs spoil Nets’ ‘Big 3’ debut

    GETTING AWAY: Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton drives past Nets star James Harden in the second extra period. REUTERS PHOTO

    COLLIN Sexton hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds left in the first overtime and scored 15 of his career-high 42 points in the second extra period as the host Cleveland Cavaliers outlasted the Brooklyn Nets for a 147-135 victory on Wednesday night (Thursday in Manila).

    Sexton surpassed his previous career high of 41 set March 4, 2020 against Boston by scoring 31 points after halftime. He shot 16 of 29 from the field overall after missing the previous five games with an ankle injury.

    Thanks largely to Sexton’s efforts, Cleveland overcame big nights in the debut of Brooklyn’s star trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, who each played the final 18-plus minutes.

    Durant led the Nets with 38 points but missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer in the first overtime. He also put up 12 rebounds and eight assists. Irving added 37 points in his first game back from a two-week absence due to personal reasons along with health and safety protocols. Harden posted his second triple-double in three games as a Net with 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

    In other games, it was the Hawks 123, Pistons 115 (OT); Sixers 117, Celtics 109; Mavericks 124, Pacers 112; Heat 111, Raptors 102; Magic 97, Wolves 96; Warriors 121, Spurs 99; Clippers 115, Kings 96; and Suns 109, Rockets 103.

    Atlanta Hawks 123 – Detroit Pistons 115 (OT)

    Clint Capela scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds to help Atlanta erase a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat visiting Detroit in overtime.

    Capela became the first Atlanta player with at least 25 points and 25 rebounds since Dikembe Mutombo in 1999. Atlanta got 38 points and 10 assists from Trae Young and 31 points and 11 rebounds from John Collins and defeated the Pistons for the second time.

    Detroit’s Jerami Grant had a career-high 32 points and posted his 13th straight game with at least 20 points. Blake Griffin scored 17 and Wayne Ellington added 16.

    Philadelphia 76ers 117 – Boston Celtics 109

    Joel Embiid scored 42 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift host Philadelphia past rival Boston, who played without Jayson Tatum, who is recovering from COVID-19.

    Embiid shot 12 of 19 from the field and 17 of 21 from the free-throw line for his second 40-point effort this season — both in the past three games. Tobias Harris added 22 points for the Sixers, who have won eight of nine at home.

    Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 26 points while Marcus Smart added a season-high 25.

    Daniel Theis had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Kemba Walker contributed 19 points in just 22 minutes in his second game back from a knee injury.