NBA

Kyrie Irving single-handedly ends Brooklyn’s skid with yet another fourth-quarter frenzy

Kyrie Irving single handedly ends Brooklyns skid with yet another fourth quarter



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The Brooklyn Nets entered Friday night having lost four straight games since Kevin Durant went on the shelf with a sprained MCL. In Utah, Kyrie Irving decided he’d had enough, scoring a season-high 48 points as Brooklyn snapped its losing skid with a 117-106 win over the Jazz. 

When Durant went out, there was hope that Irving, who has been great all season when he’s played, and a well-rounded supporting cast could buoy Brooklyn, but that hadn’t happened with Irving shooting 38 percent from the field — including 6 for 26 from 3 — for the three games preceding Friday night. 

In Utah, Irving shot 8 of 15 from deep and 62 percent overall, adding 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals against one turnover to his ledger. The league’s leading per-game fourth-quarter scorer, Irving was again sizzling when it counted most, registered 21 fourth-quarter points on his typical tough-shot diet. 

When Kyrie is cooking, he makes these shots look so easy. They are not. These are highly contested looks that require serious work to even attempt, let alone make at a supremely efficient rate. Nights like Friday are why even fellow NBA players are awestruck by Irving’s talent. 

Seth Curry hit some big 3s to aid the Brooklyn effort, including a dagger set up by Kyrie going away from an impending double team and attacking to his right to suck in the help, leaving Curry open in the strong-side corner. Bang. 

This was the second-straight game that Irving scored 21 fourth-quarter points. He did the same thing against the Suns, but that was more a desperate rush at the end after a rough first three quarters as Brooklyn lost to a very depleted Phoenix squad. In Utah, Irving had it going all night. 

Per ESPN Stats, Irving is just the second player in Nets history to record at least 45 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game, joining Vince Carter (2007). To me, this tweet from The Athletic’s Tony Jones perfectly captures Irving performance on Friday.

Indeed, this is what stars do. They know when to put their foot down. once Irving got it going, he was not going to be stopped on Friday, and neither were the Nets. 

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