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Sexton, Cavaliers upset Nets in debut of Irving, Harden, Durant

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (L), forward Kevin Durant (R) and guard Kyrie Irving combined for 96 points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in Cleveland. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (L), forward Kevin Durant (R) and guard Kyrie Irving combined for 96 points in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in Cleveland. Photo by Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Collin Sexton scored a career-high 42 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to an upset victory in the debut of the Brooklyn Nets' All-Star trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving.

Sexton also recorded 20-consecutive points into double overtime to secure the 147-135 triumph on Wednesday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland. The third-year point guard made 16 of 29 field goal attempts and went 5 for 11 from 3-point range.

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"This is about all the work I put in," Sexton told reporters. "I went 0 for 5 at the beginning, but my teammates had confidence in me."

Durant, Irving and Harden combined for 96 points in their first game together since Harden was traded to the team last week and Irving returned from a seven-game absence.

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"Two overtimes for my first game back, you have to love NBA basketball," Irving said. "We tried to come out doing our best. It's going to take me a minute, but I'm excited for the future."

Durant led the way with 38 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for Brooklyn. Harden had 21 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for a triple-double. Irving had 37 points.

Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman scored 11 points in the first quarter to help Cleveland earn a 28-23 lead through the first 12 minutes.

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Irving and Durant then scored 10 and nine points, respectively, in the second frame to help the Nets close the deficit to two points at halftime.

The Nets started the third quarter with a 6-0 run and took a 58-57 lead two minutes into the frame before the Cavaliers responded with a 7-0 run. Cleveland held an 87-78 lead through three quarters.

The Cavaliers pushed their lead to 13 points 2:33 into the fourth frame before Irving tied the game on a putback shot with 1:08 remaining, which led to the first overtime.

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Durant gave the Nets a 127-124 edge in the first bonus period before Sexton hit a 3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining to force another overtime.

Sexton began his run of 20-consecutive points with 10.7 seconds remaining in the first overtime. The Cavaliers outscored the Nets 18-4 during that stretch to earn a 142-131 lead with 1:29 remaining.

Sexton also had five assists and five rebounds in the win. He had 11 points in the first half and 22 points in overtime. Osman chipped in 25 points, seven assists and seven rebounds for Cleveland.

Taurean Prince scored 17 points off the Cavaliers bench. Larry Nance Jr. and Damyean Dotson chipped in 15 points apice in the victory.

Big man Jarrett Allen -- who joined the Cavaliers as part of the Harden trade -- had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Cleveland.

"Look, this is the first night,'' Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. ''We seemed a little lost at times. We were a little flat and disjointed at times.''

The Cavaliers (7-7) host the Nets (9-7) at 7:30 p.m. EST on Friday at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

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