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Kevin Durant merely started clapping when requested about teammate Kyrie Irving’s 50-point efficiency Tuesday evening.
“That was grasp class,” Durant stated.
Irving hit 9 3-pointers and the Brooklyn Nets snapped a four-game skid with a 132-121 win over the Charlotte Hornets.
Irving grew to become one in all 22 gamers in NBA historical past with 5 50-point video games, in keeping with Basketball Reference. His profession excessive is 57 factors on March, 12, 2015, whereas taking part in for the Cleveland Cavaliers in an time beyond regulation win in opposition to San Antonio.
“Youthful gamers ought to watch this recreation and study what it takes to attain at that degree,” Durant stated.
Durant had a quiet evening by his lofty requirements, ending with 14 factors.
However he didn’t must do a lot lifting with Irving taking management a lot of the recreation.
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Irving, who has solely been allowed to play in away video games as a consequence of COVID-19 protocols in New York, completed 15 of 19 from the sector and 9 of 12 from past the arc. He additionally was 11 of 13 from the road.
He grew to become solely the second guard in NBA historical past to have a number of 50-point video games whereas taking pictures 75% from the ground, in keeping with Stats. The opposite is Michael Jordan.
“It was particular,” Seth Curry stated. “He made nice performs all around the flooring. He didn’t pressure it. Catch and shoot, off the dribble and acquired to the rim, too. We wanted that Kyrie.”
Durant stated Irving had “that look in his eye” earlier than the sport, and the previous Duke level guard agreed.
“It felt like a must-win evening,” Irving stated. “I’m not saying the opposite nights didn’t really feel like that, however it’s important to go into that deep place w. you aren’t distracted by something that is happening.”
Added Durant: “All the things he does is so pure. It appeared really easy tonight. I appeared up and he had 10 factors and it felt like he had taken two pictures.”
Andre Drummond dominated inside, ending with 20 factors and 14 rebounds for Brooklyn, which acquired again to .500 on the season and moved into sole possession of eighth place within the Japanese Convention standings, breaking a tie with the Hornets.
Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier every completed with 30 factors for Charlotte, which had its two-game win streak snapped. LaMelo Ball added 24 factors and 7 assists for the Hornets.
The Nets bolted to a 69-43 lead behind Irving’s 20 factors within the first half. The Hornets did not assist themselves, repeatedly committing turnovers with lazy passes, together with two by Ball on back-to-back possessions.
Brooklyn stretched its result in 34 factors within the second half earlier than the Hornets trimmed it to 13 with lower than 4 minutes left within the recreation. However Irving, as he’d finished all through the second half, thwarted the rally by flattening a jumper.
“He’s unimaginable. He’s a profession spotlight reel each time, each evening,” stated Nets coach Steve Nash. “We clearly have a particular participant on our palms and tonight, he was unbelievably environment friendly and troublesome to defend. … These had been actually massive pictures he made within the second half, however general he’s simply an unimaginable participant, shot maker.”
The Hornets used plenty of gamers to defend Irving, however merely could not cease him.
“He made robust pictures,” Hornets coach James Borrego stated. “We double-teamed him, switched up our coverages and threw completely different seems at him, however we’ve got to offer him credit score.”
HARDEN UP NEXT
The Nets journey to Philadelphia to face former teammate James Harden and the 76ers on Thursday evening in what needs to be an fascinating, if not entertaining, evening.
Irving stated he harbors no sick emotions towards Harden, who sought to depart Brooklyn.
“It is superb,” Irving stated. “It makes for good tales, it makes for good narratives and good construct up for our league. It is by no means too private, however we perceive as rivals we wish to win the sport. … Nevertheless it’s not about us and any particular person matchups, it is about being an incredible workforce and constructing on what we got down to do.”
Nets: Durant was assessed a technical foul within the third quarter for pushing Rozier whereas attempting to free himself up for an inbounds move. … Curry picked up a technical for arguing a name.
Hornets: Jalen McDaniels, who had been out since Jan. 21 with an ankle damage, returned to motion. He performed 9 minutes and had two factors. … Montrezl Harrell was assessed a technical foul when he shoved Nic Claxton.
Nets: At Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday evening.
Hornets: Host Boston Celtics on Wednesday evening.