Nets make history with 91-point first-half outburst against Warriors as they win seventh straight

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Kevin Durant will forever be associated with the Golden State Warriors after winning two championships with them, but on Wednesday, he and the Brooklyn Nets scored a historic victory over his former team. Although things calmed down considerably in the second half, the Nets scored a whopping 91 points in the first two quarters against the Warriors in what will go down as one of the greatest offensive halves of basketball in NBA history.

Brooklyn’s 91 points are the third most by any team in a first half in league history. The record, according to ESPN stats and info, is 107, held by the 1990 Phoenix Suns, while the 2018 Durant-starring Warriors dropped 92 to the Bulls. Additionally, the 40-point halftime lead the Nets built over the Warriors represents the largest halftime deficit ever faced by a defending NBA champion, also according to ESPN stats and info. Brooklyn eventually won the game 143-113.

It was an extremely balanced performance overall. No Net finished the game with more than 23 points, but nine Brooklyn players reached double figures and all 12 players they used scored at least five points. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving didn’t even play against Golden State, and the Nets still rolled over the admittedly depleted Warriors.

It’s just the latest in a long streak of wins for Brooklyn. The Nets have won seven straight and 10 or their last 11. After a slow start to the season and mired in controversy, the Nets combined one of the league’s best offenses with a surprisingly strong defense to climb to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. They entered Wednesday’s action just three games out of first place, and if they keep scoring like this, it won’t be long before they pass the Celtics and Bucks.

The Warriors, meanwhile, have now lost six of their last eight, and with Stephen Curry on the sidelines, their defensive woes are only getting worse. Golden State’s second-ranked defense in the NBA last season dropped to 21st this time around, and while Curry may not have played against the Nets, defensive ace Draymond Green did. With 15-17, they are now outside the top 10 of the Western Region. With Golden State winning the title last year and the Nets competing for it while Golden State languishing in the lottery the year before, it seems like Durant and the Warriors can’t do it at the same time. Right now, the pendulum is swinging towards the net.

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