On Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets welcomed their starting point guard Kyrie Irving back to the lineup for the first time since January 5. Kyrie had quite an impressive outing, finishing the game with 37 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 blocks. Despite Kyrie’s impressive return, Brooklyn still fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers 135-147. Kyrie drew the defensive assignment of the Cavs starting point guard Collin Sexton and although he was disappointed with his team’s loss he was sure to tip his hat to the impressive performance of Cleveland’s young guard.
Kyrie Was Impressed by Collin Sexton
“Two overtimes for my first game back?” Kyrie said, via Tom Withers of The Associated Press. “You got to love NBA ball, though. I was smiling when Collin Sexton was making those shots.” The Cavs who were overwhelming underdogs in this matchup seemingly couldn’t miss once the second overtime came around. Brooklyn was fatigued and the Cavs took advantage of that. “I don’t know many teams that can score 20 points in five minutes but the young fella got hot. I got to give Collin credit.” Kyrie said.
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Despite having the worst offense in the league, the Cavs were still able to overcome Brooklyn’s three-headed monster of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie in a double-overtime shootout. Brooklyn trailed by as many as fourteen points in the second half and came roaring back to tie the game at the end of regulation. The Cavs were led by the Young Bull who hit a three in the final seconds of the first overtime to send the game into double overtime. From there the Cavs’ young star seemingly could not miss in the second overtime as he finished with 42 points on the night.
Respect Is Mutual Between Sexton and Kyrie
The Young Bull knows what he represents for Cleveland fans. He is the best guard they have had since Kyrie’s departure in 2017, he even wears Kyrie’s old number. But it is more than just that–he represents the future of a franchise that has been in shambles since LeBron left to join the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I am in Cleveland, I do wear No. 2, and I do wear Kyrie’s sneakers. That’s going to be linked together,” Colin said via Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “I just got to take it. I can’t control what people say, but I can control what I do, it was good to go against him tonight. I definitely accepted the challenge, and I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Just the simple fact that it’s Kyrie, he’s coming at you every night ready to go and tonight was a good one.”
While it was a night to celebrate for the Cavs it was one to forget for Brooklyn’s new-look ‘Big 3’ as the Nets continue to struggle on defense. Wednesday’s matchup against the Cavs was the second time this season that they have given up 140 points or more. They will have a shot at revenge when they face the Cavs again on Friday.