Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kyrie Irving has only appeared in 19 games this season as he remains ineligible to play home games at Barclays Center as an unvaccinated player. But in the few games that he has played, Irving has been a huge boost for the Nets as he is averaging 27.7 points to go along with 4.7 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. Brooklyn at one point this season was facing a real possibility of not qualifying for the play-in. But quietly, the Nets have put together four consecutive wins and Irving is a big reason why.
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NBA Stars React to Kyrie’s Historic Night
In the first half of their 150-108 win over the Orlando Magic on March 15, Irving made NBA history as he netted a sizzling 41 points in the first half. According to ESPN stats and information, Irving is just the third player in the last 25 years to score at least 40 points in the first half joining Golden State Warriors star guard Klay Thompson who did it in 2016, and late Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant who did it in 2003. Irving ultimately ended the night with a Nets franchise-record 60 points on a scorching 20-31 shooting to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. His historic performance took the NBA world by storm.
Kevin Durant Praises Kyrie’s Performance
Irving’s historic night comes on the heels of their last game against the New York Knicks where his co-star Kevin Durant nearly claimed the record himself with a 53-point performance. Per NetsDaily, Irving and Durant are the first teammates in NBA history to have back-to-back 50-point performances. Durant believes that he and Irving are just starting to hit their stride.
“I didn’t know that. It’s a cool stat,” Durant said of the historic mark per NetsDaily. “I think you can see we’re both in a nice little groove right now. We want to continue and we know this is a huge night for Kai. He even said it coming into the locker room, ‘we got more to do.’ I love that mentality, even on a special night like this.”
Durant also says that other-worldly performances by Irving are something that he and his teammates have become accustomed to seeing.
“I’m sure in the first quarter, y’all seen developing. Sixteen through the first and then midway through the second, all of us on the bench still looking up,” Durant continued. “It’s just like that every game for Kai when you look up and he got 10-12-14 points already. We [saw] he was well on his way to a high scoring night.”
Kyrie Reacts To Breaking Nets Franchise Record
Irving’s 60 point night gave him the Nets franchise scoring record that used to be held by former Nets star Deron Williams (57) in his big performance. The New Jersey native says that despite his history-making performance, he could have played better.
“Yeah, somebody told me on the bench what it was. I’m just grateful it came in the flow of the game,” Irving said on claiming the Nets’ scoring record per NetsDaily. “A few shots I probably shouldn’t have taken: tough ones double-teams coming, triple-teams coming. As long as I can do it with a smile on my face and my teammates weren’t too angry at me, it made this night worthwhile.”
There will be no rest for the weary as the Nets will take on the Dallas Mavericks in the second night of a back-to-back in their next game. It will be a home game at Barclays Center; thus, Kyrie will not be available to suit up.