Nets forward Kevin Durant is defended by Washington Wizards forward...

Nets forward Kevin Durant is defended by Washington Wizards forward Anthony Gill in the first half of an NBA basketball game at Barclays Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It finally happened.

The Nets have a winning record. It took 23 games, more than a quarter of the season, but the team that was built to be a contender finally pushed itself ahead of .500 with a 113-107 win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

The Nets (12-11) won their third straight, and the primary reason they did is that they by far had the best player on the floor in Kevin Durant.

Two days removed from having scored a season-high 45 points against Orlando, Durant scored 39 points, grabbed five rebounds and made five assists. It marked the fourth straight game in which Durant has scored 31 or more points.

The Nets also got big buckets down the stretch from Joe Harris and Kyrie Irving.

Harris, who started in place of the injured Ben Simmons, hit a three-pointer from the top of the arc to give the Nets a 102-92 lead with 3:00 left. After Kristaps Porzingis hit two free throws, Irving hit another three to make the score 105-94 with 2:15 left.

“We showed some composure and poise at the end, which was great to see” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Overall, good win by our guys.”

Irving finished with 27 points and five assists. Harris had 14 points, knocking down four of his six three-pointers.

“It felt great,” Harris said when asked about his three in crunchtime. “It helped solidify the win.”

Washington was led by Porzingis’ 27 points and 19 rebounds. Kyle Kuzma and Bradley Beal each scored 25.

Durant has made 44 of his last 64 shots, which might be a career defining stretch if he were any other player. He underscored that in his postgame news conference when he was asked if he could remember a stretch in his career where he has been this efficient.

“Yeah, a couple of times where I had three- or four- game stretches where I felt like I made every shot,” Durant said. “They come and go . . . So I can get comfortable right now that I’m shooting the ball solid. I just got to keep going, keep preparing the right way and keep in mind are in place”

Durant shot sensationally in the Nets’ win on Monday, going 19-for-24. He opened Wednesday’s game right where he left off, scoring 21 first-half points and shooting 8-for-11. Durant hit jumpers, but he also made a dunk and even completed a three-point play with two defenders practically plastered to him.

“Sometimes, I have to make sure I don’t take it for granted the fact he shows up every single day,” Vaughn said. “When Kevin steps on the floor he wants to win.”

Vaughn did say having to rely on Durant for this many minutes — he played 37 — is “not ideal” and said down the road the Nets are going to have to find a way not to lean so heavily on him.

The Nets certainly could have used Simmons to help out with guarding Porzingis, who led the Wizards with 17 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

“Porzingis has stretched the floor for them, shooting multiple threes,” Vaughn said when asked about the challenges Washington presented for his team.

Notes & quotes: Yuta Watanabe will miss at least one more week, the Nets announced, after an MRI of his strained hamstring showed that it had not improved since his last MRI. Watanabe, who missed his sixth straight game Wednesday, has taken a big step forward this season. He leads the league in three-point accuracy after having made 57.1% of his shots. In the 14 games he’s played this season, in which he averaged only 18.2 minutes per game, he made 24 three-point shots out of 42 attempts.

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