Despite being without the NBA’s top scorer in Kevin Durant in addition to still being without Kyrie Irving the Brooklyn Nets were able to come out with an impressive win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day. The Nets came out on top with a 122-115 victory over the Lakers led by their superstar James Harden who finished the night with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. The Nets who could not seem to beat a noteworthy team at the beginning of the season are now owners of wins over the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Atlanta Hawks.
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Nic Claxton Sounds off on His Dunk on LeBron James
While Harden was indeed the star of the night in the Nets’ win over the Lakers, it was the Nets’ young big man Nicolas Claxton who stole the show in the game’s final seconds. After trailing by as many as 23 points in the 4th quarter the Lakers went on a 31-8 run to tie the game at 115 with under a minute to go. That is when Harden set Claxton up with a beautiful alley-oop that he put down with authority over Lakers star LeBron James to give the Nets the lead for good. Claxton says that it is one of the top moments of his career.
“That’s definitely No. 1. Definitely the most memorable moment of my career,” Claxton said before the Nets matchup with the Clippers via Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “It was lit. It just happened.”
Claxton Speaks on His Growing Confidence
Claxton who at one point had found himself out of the Nets rotation has become an integral part of Brooklyn’s roster due to so many players entering the league’s health and safety protocols. He has scored 15 or more points in three of the last four games that he has played. Claxton says his recent stretch of play is largely due in part to his confidence growing.
“It’s definitely good in growing confidence,” Claxton continued. “The coaching staff trusting me to finish big games and my teammates trusting me to go out and make plays. James having that trust to even throw that pass like that says a lot about the way he feels about me. I went out and made it happen, so my confidence is definitely growing. I’m looking forward to just continuing to do what I’m doing and the sky’s the limit.”
James Harden Sounds off on Claxton’s Recent Stretch
Harden who has been one of the main distributors of the ball to Claxton can also see that his confidence has grown over the past few games.
“His confidence is growing. This is his first year where he’s like knowing himself, knowing what we expect out of him and what he has to do on a night-in and night-out basis,” said Harden of Claxton per NetsDaily.
“I tell him every single day; anyone can have one good game. Anyone can have two good games. What separates you is when you do it on a night-in and night-out basis. Consistency, especially for a young guy. Once you can build that and great habits, then you got something special.”
Despite being undermanned the Nets finished their Los Angeles road trip with a record of 2-0 with wins over the Lakers and Clippers. They will have another big test in their next game against Joel Embiid and the 76ers.