The Brooklyn Nets were able to get back in the win column on Tuesday. Kyrie Irving and company were able to escape with a 124-120 victory over Kawhi Leonard and the league-best Los Angeles Clippers. Brooklyn’s “big 3” exploded for a combined 90 points. Kyrie was on fire all night as he led all scorers with 39 big points for the Nets. This was a big response from Brooklyn after their collapse in the waning moments of Sunday’s game against the Washington Wizards. Russell Westbrook hit a three-pointer over Irving that would put the Wizards ahead in the game’s final moments. Brooklyn’s starting point guard was locked in from the opening tip against the Clippers, looking to redeem himself from the crushing defeat.
Kyrie Took Loss To Wizards Personally
“We just needed to respond, every single night is going to be different,” Irving said to the media following Tuesday’s win via SNY. “I’m just trying to give what is needed on both ends of the floor. Like I said the other night I took that personally, not being able to guard anyone. Tonight, I gave up a few drives but defensively as a team including with my effort, we just matched it tonight. We knew that they were going to bring it, so it was just an exciting game, it was great competition for some of the top players in the world to go against each other on national television, so we gave the fans what they wanted.”
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The Brooklyn Nets seem to finally be putting it all together as the team has won seven of their last ten games. Harden, Irving, and Durant now have a record of 4-1 as a trio, and they have crept up in the standings. The Nets are just two games back of Joel Embiid and the Sixers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Nets winning against a top team like the Clippers shows that Brooklyn’s squad can rumble with the best of them. Head coach Steve Nash has continually implored his team to zero in on the defensive side of the ball. He knows that when the Nets play defense the way they did in the second half against the Clippers, they are almost impossible to beat.
Brooklyn Has Made Improvements on Defense
“Great to see,” Nash told reporters over Zoom after the win via SNY. “We have the luxury of offensive talent, but we also have to defend. That is a difficult team to defend and we did a great job. You know it is kind of tricky when the teams are constantly taking way more shots than you are.
Coming into Tuesday’s game the Clippers had the highest third quarter-point differential in the NBA, outscoring opponents by 2.7 points per game. Brooklyn held the Clippers in check coming out of halftime as they only outscored the Nets 32-31 in the third quarter. It evident that Brooklyn has started to make defense a priority. “We’ll keep cleaning up and we’ll keep getting better,” said Nash. “When they put up the effort that they did tonight, we’ll be tough to beat.”