Kevin Durant scores 33 points in return, Nets beat Suns

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NEW YORK — Kevin Durant scored 33 points in his latest return from injury, Kyrie Irving had 34 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Phoenix Suns 128-119 on Sunday in a matchup of two of the NBA’s top teams.

Durant missed three games after bruising his left thigh early in a loss to Miami last Sunday and has been limited to just 25 games this season. He played 28 minutes off the bench in his return, shooting 12 for 21.

Blake Griffin scored 15 points to help the Eastern Conference leaders improve to 25-7 at home and 20-6 against West teams.

Devin Booker scored 36 points and Deandre Ayton had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, the No. 2 team in the West who are seeing the best of the East on their current road trip.

The Nets were 2-2 while playing almost entirely without Durant in their previous four, but things change when the four-time scoring champion is on the floor.

HORNETS 125, CELTICS 104

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Devonte Graham had 24 points and nine assists and P.J. Washington added 22 points and 12 rebounds in Charlotte’s victory over Boston.

Terry Rozier had 21 points and 11 assists, and Miles Bridges stayed hot with 20 points for the Hornets. They pulled within 1 1/2 games of Boston for the sixth spot in the East.

Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown each had 20 points for Boston. It has dropped two straight after winning seven of eight.

GRIZZLIES 120, TRAIL BLAZERS 113

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Ja Morant had 28 points and Memphis beat Portland for the second time in three days.

Jonas Valanciunas, back after missing three games because of concussion protocol, added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

CJ McCollum had 27 points for the Blazers. They have lost five straight and nine of 11 to fall to seventh in the Western Conference — a half-game ahead of Memphis.

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The Associated Press