NBA

Nets coach Nash hails 'incredible' Durant after season-high 51 points

By Sports Desk December 12, 2021

Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash labelled Kevin Durant "incredible" after scoring an NBA season-high 51 points in the team's 116-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

The Eastern Conference-leading Nets took down the lowly Pistons thanks to Durant, who shot 16 of 31 from the field, including five three-pointers in a dominant offensive display in the absence of rested team-mate James Harden.

Durant's 51 points usurped Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry's 50-point mark for the previous top individual score this season, while the former also had nine assists and seven rebounds.

"Kevin was incredible," Nash said at the post-game news conference. "Not an easy night. They played extremely hard. Tonnes of energy.

"We were playing different line-ups. I think there were different guys out there at different times trying to find the spacing and the spots, where to be, so there are some challenges there for us.

"For him to be able to score 51, nine assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal, it's incredible."

The haul was Durant's eighth 50-point game of his NBA career, while it was the 10th 50-point game in Brooklyn's franchise history.

Durant dominated the second and third quarters for the Nets, scoring 35 of his team's 55 points during that stretch, as the struggling Pistons challenged.

"I felt like we started the game with a nice energy and then the second quarter they upped the pressure a bit," Durant told reporters.

"I felt like we turned it over a lot in the second and third quarter. I just tried to keep the ball in our hands and take a shot every time as I was turning it over too. I was able to make some."

Nash added that he could not remember such a dominant period by one individual.

"I'm sure it's happened but I can't remember it. He was just outstanding," Nash said.

"I thought his leadership and a willingness to keep us in it, also his defense, was unbelievable."

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