Before the Brooklyn Nets (25-12) took down the San Antonio Spurs in a 139-103 thrashing, star guard Kyrie Irving got in some gaming. He hopped onto Call Of Duty and eventually was joined by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell.
Irving went on to have another solid night with 27 points and eight rebounds one of which led to a monster putback dunk.
Mitchell went nuclear.
He dropped a career-high and Cavs franchise-record 71 points in Cleveland’s 145-134 overtime win over the Chicago Bulls. Mitchell’s points are the most by any player this season, the most in the NBA since Kobe Bryant’s 81-point performance against the Toronto Raptors in 2006, and might have gotten a boost from Irving.
Kyrie Irving Played Role In Donovan Mitchell’s Big Night
“Bruh told me and [Royce O’Neale] to take that nap.” Mitchell tweeted in response to Irving’s postgame revelation that he could just tell that Mitchell was “locked in” before he went off against Chicago.
O’Neale missed the win over San Antonio with an illness but the Nets were able to roll against the tanking Spurs.
All of the starters sat out the fourth quarter of the blowout.
Irving also commended Mitchell for breaking his record saying that “records are meant to be broken” and that he was “happy” that he did it before noting that both players had to get off the game to take a nap. He did not, however, specify that it was his idea for the others to take one as well.
The previous Cavs franchise-record mark was 57 points which Irving scored in a 128-125 overtime win against the Spurs in 2015. He has, of course since surpassed that personal mark, going for a career-high 60 points in a 150-108 win over the Orlando Magic last season.
As for this year’s Nets, they have now won their 12th straight game and sit just one game behind the Boston Celtics for the one-seed.
Their next opponent is the same Bulls Mitchell just torched.
Nets Good Vibes Roll
One of the issues the Nets have had to deal with was high minutes for their stars, namely Kevin Durant, due to a lack of depth. Getting ahead enough in games that they can rest is key for the long run of the regular season and as they get into the playoffs. It also bodes well for the Nets’ chances of keeping their streak alive if their stars are upright and not in street clothes.
But Irving says they aren’t really putting stock into the current run.
“I don’t think we really pay attention too much to the streak,” Irving said during his media availability, “we just really wanna play well for one another.”
Irving also detailed how the Nets are playing well off each other on the floor citing “staying present game-to-game” and giving each other proper space for isolations from him and Durant in addition to building their chemistry.
It was just another reminder of just how far this group has come since the summer and even since November with regard to Irving in particular who finished off his press conference noting that he had “some more work to do” while remaining in awe of Mitchell’s dominant performance against the team he will face next.