Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving Give Jerseys to Legendary Rapper After Win

Kevin Durant Nets

Getty Kevin Durant and 2 Chainz at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.

The Brooklyn Nets collected their third straight win on Wednesday as they defeated the Atlanta Hawks 132-128 in overtime. The Nets are now 12-8 overall and sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Following the win, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving gifted their game-worn jerseys to rap star and Atlanta native 2 Chainz.

For those who are wondering, the NBA’s updated health and safety protocols prohibit players from exchanging jerseys with other players, in addition to customary handshakes and hugging — an infraction Irving nearly committed on Saturday while attempting to hug Miami’s Bam Adebayo postgame.

However, there is no prohibition on players giving their jerseys to fans.


Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ Shine in Atlanta

Brooklyn’s star trio of Durant, Irving and James Harden lit the Hawks up on Wednesday, combining for 89 points and 24 assists in the victory. KD continued to strengthen his MVP-level campaign with a game-high 32 points. The four-time scoring champ extended his career-best streak of 20-plus-point games to begin a season to 15. This is also the longest streak to start a season in Nets franchise history.

“The Beard” finally looks like he is starting to settle into his new home, exploding for 31 points and 15 assists in his seventh game in a Brooklyn uniform. Coming up just two rebounds shy of his third triple-double this season, it was his first 30-point outing since Irving’s return to the lineup. Harden missed a step-back three-pointer that would have put the Nets up in the final seconds of regulation but made up for it in the additional period as the catalyst for several key buckets.

Irving continues to play unconsciously since returning from his seven-game personal leave. Wednesday marked the fourth time in his last five contests scoring 25 points or more, bringing his average during that span to 28.6 points per game. In total, the six-time All-Star has scored at least 25 points in 10 of his 12 games this season. The Nets, who lead the league in fourth-quarter scoring as a team (30.4 points) thanks in part to Irving’s recent outbursts, are now 3-2 since his return.

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Nash & Nets Still Putting the Pieces Together

Despite giving up 128 points in the game, the Nets defense has looked significantly better in the last few games. While the holes are still glaring in their interior defense, Brooklyn was able to get stops when they needed them most.

“Tonight, when we needed stops, we got stops,” Harden told reporters over Zoom following the win, via NBA.com. “If we get stops and get out in transition, it makes our game a lot easier.”

The same way Brooklyn’s big three is still putting the pieces together so too is rookie head coach Steve Nash. Nash, a two-time league MVP, has his plate full coaching a “championship or bust” team in his first year on the job. The 46-year-old is quickly learning that despite Brooklyn’s talent, not all wins will be blowouts and there will be games that come down to which team wants it more. Wednesday’s win against the Hawks was one of those games.

“We just gutted it out,” Nash said during his postgame press conference, via NBA.com. “It was fine margins. We made enough baskets, we made enough hustle plays, and got enough rebounds just to get us over the line. It wasn’t pretty, but we found a lane and we’ll take it.”

Brooklyn will go for its fourth consecutive victory on Friday against Harden and Durant’s former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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