Durant scores 42, Nets torch depleted Pacers 130-113

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Indiana Pacers guard Aaron Holiday (3) looks to pass the ball off to a teammate after being stopped by the Brooklyn Nets defense during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Thursday, April 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

INDIANAPOLIS – Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash realizes that sometimes there's no need to overthink situations, especially when working with great players such as Kevin Durant.

Nash let Durant do his thing on Thursday night, and the superstar responded with a season-high 42 points as the Nets glided to a 130-113 victory over the depleted Indiana Pacers.

“What can I say? I have the luxury of coaching Kevin Durant," Nash said. “You stick him in the game and good things happen.”

Durant scored 22 points in the third quarter as the Nets stretched their lead to 21 points.

The All-Star forward took particular pleasure in drawing the attention of extra defenders, which opened up the offense for teammates. Durant finished with 10 assists. He was plenty efficient when he took his own shots, connecting on 16 of 24 in his eighth start since being sidelined for nearly two months with a hamstring injury.

“I want to create that double team,” Durant said. “But when I have scoring opportunities, I like to take advantage as well.”

It was his third game of 30 points or more since his return, which was also interrupted for three games by a thigh injury.

“It makes it easy for me when he's scoring points,” said Nets reserve forward Alize Johnson, who had 20 points and 21 rebounds. “It's fun to watch.”