By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer

BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 21 points to pass Allen Iverson and move into the top 25 on the NBA’s career scoring list, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics 123-104 on Wednesday night.

Patty Mills added 23 points, and James Harden had 20 points and 11 assists for Brooklyn, which has won four in a row, seven out of eight and 12 of its last 14 games. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

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Marcus Smart had 20 points and eight assists for Boston, which had won three in a row. Jayson Tatum had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who cut a 29-point, third-quarter lead to 12 early in the fourth, but could get no closer.

The Nets opened an 11-point lead midway through the first quarter and led by as many as 17 in the second before taking a 62-49 lead into the half. They scored 18 of the first 21 points in the third and led 97-68 before Boston scored the last eight points of the quarter.

Boston scored the first eight points in the fourth to cut it to 97-85. But Mills assisted on James Johnson’s jumper, then hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead.

OLD FRIENDS

It was Brooklyn’s first visit to Boston since completing a Game 4 victory in the first round of last year’s playoffs and ex-Celtic Kyrie Irving was hit with a water bottle as the team left the court. Irving has not played this season due to his refusal to comply with COVID-19 vaccination mandates.

MOVING UP

Durant entered the night with 24,367 points, one behind Iverson, and passed him on a jumper in the first two minutes. Next up on the list: Ray Allen, who has 24, 505 points.

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MORE MILESTONES

Tatum went 1 for 9 from 3-point range, but his make gave him 650 in his career and moved him ahead of Larry Bird and into fifth on the Celtics’ all-time list. Smart, who made three on Wednesday, is fourth with 702.

TIP-INS

Hall of Famer Bill Russell was at the game, sitting courtside under the basket at the Nets end of the court. … Celtics coach Ime Udoka picked up a technical foul leaving the court at halftime. Durant shot the free throw before the start of the third quarter, and missed it. … Harden stopped by the Boston bench before the game to say hello to Udoka, who was a Nets assistant last season.

UP NEXT

Nets: Host Phoenix on Saturday.

Celtics: Play at San Antonio on Friday night.

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