Durant, Harden lead Nets past Bulls in battle of East leaders

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James Harden #13 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrate after a score during the second half of a game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center on January 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois.

James Harden #13 and Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets celebrate after a score during the second half of a game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center on January 12, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Kevin Durant scored a game-high 27 points and James Harden notched 25 points and 16 assists to lift the visiting Brooklyn Nets to a 138-112 rout of the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

A 22-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters shifted the advantage to Brooklyn, which avenged a 23-point defeat in Chicago on Nov. 8 and a four-point home loss to the Bulls on Dec. 4.

The torrid third quarter established the tone on a night when the Nets led by as many as 38. Brooklyn shot 12-for-18 and committed just one turnover in the third while closing the quarter on a 30-8 run after a Nikola Vucevic layup tied…

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