Nets Star Kyrie Irving Delivers Explicit Message About Role

Kyrie Irvine, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.

That’s two in a row for the Brooklyn Nets (29-17), a new streak that has to feel better than racking up losses at the rate they were with a four-game skid in the wake of superstar forward Kevin Durant’s sprained MCL. Their 120-116 win over the Golden State Warriors also gives them the regular season series.

The Nets have gone from having three players averaging double-digit points (and three more with at least 9.0 PPG) when Durant was healthy to having six players average at least 10 points over the last six games. It is evidence of their team-wide mantra of playing for each other.

No one has embodied that more than Kyrie Irving. The Mercurial guard has taken his game to new heights, determined to “lead from the front” with Durant down.

Irving got candid after scoring 38 points in the victory.

Kyrie Irving Sends Explicit Message After Nets’ Win

“This is just a message for everybody at home: first option, second option, third option – it don’t f***** matter to me,” Irving said of the pressure he admittedly was putting on himself to carry the load. “It don’t matter who has the ball in their hands as long as they’re being aggressive and it’s the best shot for our team.”

Irving put that into practice tying his season-high with nine assists the last of which found Royce O’Neale for the game-winning three-pointer.

This was despite being in a groove himself.

“The objective of this team sport is to win basketball games,” Irving said via the team’s official YouTube channel. “Not identify one person to carry everybody every single night. And some nights it’s going to occur like that or seem like that. But for me, it’s just the team attitude, team atmosphere, and living with the results for us playing together and collectively.”

Irving stopped short of calling this the biggest win of the season but noted that Golden State was fully healthy. He also did his usual thing scoring too notching 22 of his 38 points in the second half with 12 points coming in the fourth quarter.

It continues a trend of late-game success for the seven-time All-Star who leads the league in fourth-quarter scoring on the year.

He is averaging 31 points on 58.3% true shooting in the six games Durant has been out.

Royce O’Neale On Game-Winner

“Kyrie had been getting to the basket, hitting tough shots,” O’Neale said of that final play. “And, at that moment, he drove, two people double-teamed him, and he found me open. And just me having the confidence to knock it down.”

O’Neale finished with 16 points but scored just those three points in the entire second half going 1-for-3 from the floor. That Irving still went to him exemplifies exactly what he said about finding the right shot. Especially because Irving himself was cooking.

“Guys going in and out the lineup, us finding ways to win. I mean, I think that’s just a collective effort,” O’Neale said of the Nets figuring out how to win without Durant. “Everybody buying in, stepping up when we need. And can’t wait to get him back.

It is a lot easier to buy in when you still have a talent such as Irving to fall back on and even more so when you win.

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