The Mercury News

Sexton, Cavaliers spoil Irving’s return for Nets

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Kyrie Irving returned from his personal “pause” to score 37 points in his first game with Kevin Du- rant 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 Cavaliers on Wednesday night in Cleveland.

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 sec- onds as Cleveland put away Brooklyn.

Durant led Brooklyn with 38 points and Harden added 21.

76ERS 117, CELTICS 109 >> Joel Embiid had 42 points and 10 rebounds, and Tobias Harris scored 22 points to lead the 76ers in Philadelph­ia. Embiid is off to the best start of his career and topped 40 points for the second time in three games. Ben Simmons had 11 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the Sixers.

MAVERICKS 124, PACERS 111 >> Kristaps Porzingis posted season-high totals of 27 points and 12 rebounds in leading Dallas in Indianapol­is. Luka Doncic added 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as Dallas snapped its first three-game losing streak in almost two years.

HEAT 111, RAPTORS 102 >> Kendrick Nunn scored 28 points and injury-plagued Miami won in Toronto.

PISTONS 123, HAWKS 115 (OT)

Trae Young scored 38 points, John Collins had 31, and the Hawks win in overtime in Atlanta.

NBA STRESSES NEW PROTO

COLS AS GRIZZLIES-BLAZERS CALLED OFF >> 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 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 pre-game warmups and post-game to provide reminders to players and staff and encourage compliance” with the rules regarding interactio­n.

The NBA, last week, said players must maintain 6 feet of distance as much as possible during warmups and post-game meetings — a rule that has not been followed in many circumstan­ces, even with the additional urging from the league about its importance.

• A federal judge in North Carolina ruled in favor of Pelicans player Zion Williamson in a case concerning a contract he terminated with a Florida-based marketing agent who is seeking $100 million in damages from the former Duke star. U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs ruled that marketing agent Gina Ford’s contract with Williamson was void because Ford was not a licensed agent in the state at the time she met with Williamson and because the contract did not comply with key requiremen­ts outlined by the state’s sports agent law.

• 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.

• Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns tested positive for COVID-19.

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