For the first time since June 7, 2021, Kyrie Irving played at Barclays Center.
Here are the takeaways…
– Irving missed his first four shots and didn’t record his first assist of the night until late in the first — on a thunderous dunk to Nic Claxton. He had just two assists through the first quarter.
– In the second, Irving went to the line for a pair of free throws, and finally got his first point. That got him going a bit, as he followed with an assist to Andre Drummond and a fast break three-pointer. He added four assists in the second quarter, and finished the first half with six points and seven dimes.
– Irving opened up the third quarter with three quick assists, giving him 10 on the night. Through three, though, he was still just 2-for-14 from the floor.
– His shooting woes continued in the fourth, as he badly missed a three-pointer early on, and was 2-for-17 at a point. But then he stopped messing around. He laid in three-straight tough buckets that tied the game at 104, and a pair of free throws to give the Nets the lead. Brooklyn as a whole, though, ran out of gas late, and lost, 119-110. Irving finished with 16 points on 6-for-22 shooting, while tying a season-high 11 assists.
– The Nets were in a 14-8 deficit early, as four Hornets scored points in the first three minutes. Brooklyn went on a 10-0 run (Kevin Durant scored six of them) to gain a lead. Charlotte answered right back with a 5-0 run of their own, but the Nets then had a 13-2 run immediately after. The Nets led, 32-26, after one, with Durant leading the way with eight points.
– It took a bit for both teams to get going in the second, but after a 7-0 Nets run, they led by 10, and eventually got their lead up to 14 points. The Hornets, though, didn’t end the half quietly. In fact, they cut the deficit to two points late in the half. But thanks to 15 points and nine boards from Drummond, and seven assists from Irving and six from Durant, the Nets led, 60-56, at half.
– It was all Charlotte in the third quarter, however. They outscored the Nets, 34-19, in the first nine minutes of the quarter, going 7-for-8 from three-point land in that span (LaMelo Ball drilled five of them). In the final 3:41, though, the Nets went on a 12-6 run to cut the deficit to 93-89 at quarter’s end. Durant struggled from deep throughout the quarter, but got hot and added a dozen points in the third, while Drummond had 20 and 13 at the start of the fourth.
– The Hornets increased their lead to nine points, but the Nets clawed back. Irving scored eight straight points to give the Nets a one-point lead late. The Hornets got back up to a five-point lead, though, as Cody Martin knocked down two clutch threes. Terry Rozier hit the dagger with 47.3 seconds to go, giving the Hornets a 116-108 lead. Miles Bridges added another for good measure, and the Hornets shot an incredible 53.1 percent from three (17-for-32).
– Durant did not come off the floor in the second half, and totaled 41:54 of court time. He finished with 27 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists on 9-of-24 shooting and 3-of-11 from three. He was 1-for-8 from the floor in the fourth, while the Nets made just 17 of 26 free throws.
Source: Yahoo Sports