Harden returns to score 18 points, Nets beat Spurs 128-116



NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden had 18 points and 11 assists in his return from an 18-game absence to help the Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs 128-116 on Wednesday night. Coming off the bench in an NBA game for the first time since he won the league’s Sixth Man award for Oklahoma City in 2011-12, Harden also had seven rebounds after the longest layoff of his career, missing more than a month because of a strained right hamstring. Landry Shamet scored 21 points and Nicolas Claxton had a career-high 18 for the Nets, who won their third straight and pulled within 1 1/2 games of Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference lead.