Cleveland Cavaliers’ Collin Sexton, left, drives past Brooklyn Nets’ Bruce Brown during the first half  Wednesday at Cleveland. Sexton scored 42 points as the Cavs won in two overtimes, 147-35. Tony Dejak/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving returned from his personal “pause” to score 37 points in his first game with Kevin Durant and James Harden but the new-look, star-studded Brooklyn Nets gave up 42 to Collin Sexton and lost 147-135 in double overtime to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.

Sexton scored 15 points in the second OT – most of them over Irving – for the Cavs, who outplayed the Nets all night. Sexton dropped two 3-pointers and fed Taurean Prince for another in a span of 55 seconds as Cleveland put away Brooklyn.

Durant led Brooklyn with 38 points and Harden added 21. But Brooklyn’s “Big 3” couldn’t do enough to outlast Sexton, who missed Cleveland’s last five games with a sprained ankle.

As he knocked down one big shot after another in the second OT, players on Cleveland’s bench were tackling each other in delight. Cedi Osman added 25 points and Prince – acquired in the four-team deal that brought Harden to Brooklyn – 17 in his Cavs debut.

The Nets overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter and tied it at 113-all on Irving’s putback with 1:10 left. Brooklyn had a chance in the closing seconds after Sexton’s turnover, but couldn’t score.

Brooklyn appeared in control in the first OT, but after Durant’s free throws put the Nets up 127-124, Sexton hit a 3-pointer over Irving with 1.2 seconds left. Durant’s last chance, a contested 3-pointer at the horn, was short.

MAVERICKS 124, PACERS 111: Kristaps Porzingis posted season-high totals of 27 points and 12 rebounds in leading visiting Dallas over Indiana.

Luka Doncic added 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as Dallas snapped its first three-game losing streak in almost two years.

The short-handed Pacers have lost two straight by double digits, their two most lopsided losses of the season. Malcolm Brogdon had 26 points and Domantis Sabonis finished with 25 points and nine rebounds, ending his streak of consecutive double-doubles at 13.

Dallas took the lead for good on the final basket of the third quarter and pulled away with an 11-4 run in the fourth.

HEAT 111, RAPTORS 102: Kendrick Nunn scored 28 points and injury-plagued Miami pulled away in the second half to beat Toronto at Tampa, Florida.

Bam Adebayo had 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for Miami, and Kelly Olynyk added 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Nunn, who had scored just 33 points all season before his 18-point game Monday night, came off the bench and shot 9 of 12 and grabbed eight rebounds in 35 minutes.

Despite missing four key players, the Heat won their second straight.

Fred VanVleet had 24 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose three-game winning streak ended.

HAWKS 123, PISTONS 115: Trae Young scored 38 points, John Collins had 31, and Atlanta rallied to beat Jerami Grant and visiting in overtime.

Grant had a career-high 32 points, including all of Detroit’s nine points in overtime, to continue his hot start to the season. But the Pistons fell to 3-11, the worst record in the Eastern Conference.

Clint Capela had 27 points and a career-high 26 rebounds for Atlanta, the NBA’s first 25-25 game since Karl-Anthony Towns (27-27) on Jan. 12, 2019.

MAGIC 97, TIMBERWOLVES 96: Cole Anthony hit a hurried 3-pointer at the buzzer and as visiting Orlando stunned Minnesota to stop a six-game losing streak.

Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and eight rebounds for Orlando. Evan Fournier added 24 points in his return to the lineup after missing nine games with lower back spasms.

Minnesota led by 20 before the Magic slowly chipped away in the second half. Jarred Vanderbilt missed a pair of free throws with a chance to ice the game for the Timberwolves. Anthony grabbed the rebound on the final miss, pushed the ball quickly up court and the rookie drained a contested 3 from the right wing to win the game.

NOTES

COVID-19: Contact tracing issues for the Memphis Grizzlies meant they would not have enough players eligible to play in Portland on Wednesday night, leading to the 16th game postponement for coronavirus-related reasons by the NBA this season.

Of those, 15 have come since Jan. 10 and the number could rise again soon: Memphis is scheduled to play in Portland on Friday as well. The league has not made any announcement about whether that game will happen as planned.

By NBA rule, teams must have eight eligible players for games; the Grizzlies would not meet that threshold because of “ongoing contact tracing,” the league said.

The decision about the Portland-Memphis game came on the same day that the league, in a memo sent to teams and obtained by The Associated Press, reiterated some of the new stiffer protocols that were agreed to last week.

Starting with Wednesday’s games, the NBA told teams to have their security officials “stationed near the half-court line during pregame warm-ups and postgame to provide reminders to players and staff and encourage compliance” with the rules regarding interaction.

The NBA, last week, said players must maintain six feet of distance as much as possible during pregame warm-ups and postgame meetings – a rule that has not been followed in many circumstances, even with the additional urging from the league about its importance.

Players, the NBA reminded Wednesday, must limit their interactions to elbow bumps and fist bumps. Hugs and handshakes are not permitted, and when players are exchanging pleasantries after games they remain “strongly encouraged to wear facemasks during any such interactions,” the league said.

Included in Wednesday’s guidance from the league: a reminder that speaking face-to-face while unmasked raises meaningful risks of transmission. The league has also said that should a player test positive after such an interaction, the other player could have to quarantine because of his possible exposure.

Portland is the 20th NBA team to have at least one game called off in the last two weeks. Memphis had its game at Minnesota last Friday called off after Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns revealed that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Postponed games, when possible, will be made up in the second half of the season, which will take place from March 11 – the one-year anniversary of last season shutting down because of the pandemic – through May 16. The league has not yet released that half of the schedule and isn’t expected to do so until late February at the earliest.

Players who test positive must undergo a battery of exams before being cleared to return to play, such as cardiac tests. Those ruled out by contact tracing have been able, in most circumstances, to return after a quarantine period provided they continue to test negative for COVID-19.

WIZARDS: The Washington Wizards say they’ve been cleared to return to practice after a COVID-19 outbreak on the team led to the postponement of five of their games.

The team tweeted that it was going to be allowed to practice Wednesday night. The Wizards haven’t played since Jan. 11.

They were supposed to be in action Wednesday at the Charlotte Hornets, but that was one of the games that was called off during a stretch in which Washington had six players test positive for COVID-19 and three others ruled out because of contact tracing.

The soonest Washington could play again would be Friday at Milwaukee, which would represent an 11-day game between outings.

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