The Brooklyn Nets put forth yet another stellar effort offensively in their 136-125 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. The team set a franchise record with 27 made 3-pointers.
Kyrie Irving, who shone brightly again, led the way with nine of those 3s in what was arguably his best offensive performance of the season.
DeAndre Jordan Crashes Kyrie’s Interview
Irving’s final stat line included 40 points on 15-of-22 shooting. His nine 3-pointers came on only 11 attempts from beyond the arc. The six-time All-Star is up to 28.2 points per game on the season.
After the game, Irving was in the middle of a postgame TV interview when Nets center DeAndre Jordan crashed it to deliver a two-word message.
“Shooting guard!” Jordan yelled, prompting a laugh from Irving.
It was essentially obvious at this point, but Irving spelled it out after Saturday’s game: James Harden is the Nets’ point guard, and Irving is the shooting guard.
“I feel like he’s just been doing a great job of just managing the point guard role,” Irving said of Harden after Saturday’s game, via SNY. “We established that maybe four days ago now — I just looked at him and I said, ‘You’re the point guard, and I’m going to play shooting guard.’ That was as simple as that.
“So he’s been taking control of the responsibilities and doing an incredible job. It just makes my job to just go out and play free and just make plays. So, it’s a luxury.”
It was on full display on Monday. The performance was Irving’s first 40-point game of the season; he had previously scored at least 35 points five times, including four since Harden was traded to the Nets from the Houston Rockets on January 14.
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Harden Weighs in After Irving’s Huge Night
Harden, meanwhile, has settled in seamlessly to the point-guard role. He entered Monday with a league-high 11.8 assissts game and added 14 more against the Kings. He also had 29 points and 13 rebounds to give him his fifth triple-double in 15 games as a member of the Nets.
“That’s how the game was just going. That’s how he saw it, I saw it,” Harden said of him and Irving establishing their definitive roles, via SNY. “I think for both of us, we have no problem with it. At the end of the day, we’re both playmakers, we’re both scorers. ‘Cause at any point, we both can get hot and get it going.”
On Monday night, it was Irving’s turn.
“It’s a movie, it’s like a show,” Harden said of Irving’s offensive clinic in Sacramento. “Sometimes I forget I’m on the court. He makes (it) so effortless. One of the reasons why I’m here. … He makes the game so easy for the rest of the team. When he has it going like that, obviously we’re scoring at a high level. But he’s so selfish. Once he starts getting double teamed and surrounded, he’s able to find his shooters and his bigs. We love to see it.”