Kyrie Irving is the smoothest and one of the best one-on-one players in the NBA. When he gets rolling, he is almost impossible to stop.
He was rolling Tuesday night in his return to Brooklyn, his first game there since forcing his way out of the city a little more than a year ago. A few days later Kevin Durant was traded and the end of a star-studded era in Nets history ended with little to show for it. The lasting memory of Irving in Brooklyn is him not being there, unable to be in the arena or around the team because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Tuesday night Irving reminded Nets fans just how good he can be on the court, scoring 36.
Kyrie nails back-to-back triples for 36 PTS pic.twitter.com/E5yU0aOHA8
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 7, 2024
Pair that night from Irving from another vintage Luka Doncic night with 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists, and the Nets did not have an answer.
Kyrie and Luka were a dynamic duo in tonight's win over Brooklyn
Luka: 35 PTS, 18 REB, 9 AST
Kyrie: 36 PTS, 5 AST, 6 3PM pic.twitter.com/mSE8x7oDOI
— NBA (@NBA) February 7, 2024
Dallas picked up the win 119-109. After the game, Irving said he has come to peace with his exit from Brooklyn and harbors no ill will toward the organization. Here are his quotes, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
"I just think it was time to get my own peace of mind and go somewhere where I was able to thrive, and be in a situation where I didn't have to worry about kind of behind-the-back talk or the media talk or not knowing how to handle real-life circumstances that has nothing to do with the game of basketball. It has everything to do with how you handle someone as a person.
"While I was here, I learned a lot of lessons. I've made my peace again, like I said, and I just want to move forward."
Irving, who has missed 22 games this season in Dallas due to various injuries, is averaging 25.5 points per game while shooting 42.4% from 3 this season with the Mavericks, who sit eighth in the West at 28-23.