Le Pays De France - Nets lose 10th straight, Doncic powers Mavs with 51 points

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Nets lose 10th straight, Doncic powers Mavs with 51 points
Nets lose 10th straight, Doncic powers Mavs with 51 points

Nets lose 10th straight, Doncic powers Mavs with 51 points

The Brooklyn Nets capped a tumultuous day by crashing to a 10th straight NBA defeat on Thursday, falling 113-112 to the Wizards in Washington.

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Hours after confirming they had traded superstar James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers -- dismantling their "Big Three" of Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant -- the Nets couldn't hang on to a nine-point third-quarter lead against the Wizards.

With Durant still sidelined by a knee injury, Irving scored 31 points with five rebounds and six assists to lead the Nets.

But Washington went on a 13-0 scoring run late in the third quarter to seize an 89-78 lead. Thomas Bryant's three-pointer in the fourth made it 100-87 for the Wizards and the Nets couldn't find an answer.

Cam Thomas had 27 points for Brooklyn but missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final second.

"We didn't get enough stops," Nets coach Steve Nash said. "Our defense was not good enough. That's the bottom line: We've got to defend better."

Raul Neto, making his first start of the season, scored 21 points for the Wizards. Kyle Kuzma had 15 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double of his career.

Anthony Gill also scored 15 points for Washington, who had seven players in double figures.

The Nets, lying in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, will now be hoping to quickly integrate new arrivals from Philadelphia Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Andre Drummond, and the return of Durant.

"I think we've always set our sights on (winning a championship)," Nash said. "We're not taking our foot off the gas."

Miami strengthened their grip on the Eastern Conference lead with a fourth straight victory, beating the New Orleans Pelicans 112-97.

Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo scored 29 points apiece for the Heat, who out-scored the Pelicans 27-18 in the third quarter to build a one-point halftime lead into a 10-point advantage.

Kyle Lowry posted his second triple-double of the season for Miami with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Elsewhere, the Toronto Raptors, fueled by 42 points from Gary Trent Jr., notched an eighth straight victory, downing the Houston Rockets 139-120.

Dallas star Luka Doncic exploded for a career-high 51 points to propel the Mavericks to a 112-105 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Doncic scored 28 in the first quarter, draining seven of 10 three-point attempts in the period.

Despite his exploits, the Clippers kept it close. They cut a double-digit deficit to three points in the final quarter, but couldn't get any closer.