Orlando, Florida – In a great offensive nights run, this was Irving’s greatest night.
The Nets star’s 60 points was a career high and a franchise record, while matching the best season in the NBA.
Those 60 points also led the Nets to their fourth consecutive win, with the Magic winning 150-108, as Irving rained down cheers and sang chants of “Kerry! Kerry!” from the Amway Center crowd of 15,282.
The ridicule of the magical crowd enjoying Irving’s magic while still unable to play in his home court at Barclays Center was not lost on the net. Now Irving has to sit for the next three games, including the end of Wednesday’s back-to-back game when the net hosts the Mavericks. But while Irving may be a part-time player, on this night he performed all the time.
Irving led the eighth-placed Nets (36-33) to their highest game of the season, and helped them keep up, 2 games behind the Raptors streak, who are seventh in the Eastern Group.
“We just have to pick up more, man, [we] Building momentum and embedding themselves in play, Irving said before a match, or maybe getting out of this game altogether. “But I think the mentality in our locker room is just one day at a time, controlling what we can control.”
If Irving and Kevin Durant (19 points, seven assists, five rebounds) have some kind of scoring challenge, that’s a historic challenge.
After Irving scored 50 points exactly a week ago in Charlotte, Durant outscored him by 53 on Sunday against the Knicks. Irving’s answer was a magical performance in his bag to conquer magic, making the dynamic duo of the Nets the first teammates in NBA history to score at least 50 in consecutive games.
Irving was cheered by the Orlando crowd.
“That’s what the game is about. Irving said after scoring 50 goals against the Hornets.” “Everyone loves the next basketball game to watch, so I want to put in a good performance, the people at the top and the people sitting on the court. So I am grateful that I was able to do this and get a warm reception.”
Against magic, Irving put on a show in a hot shooting performance. He finished 20 for 31, and 8 for 12 from behind the 3-point arc.
His last three pointers, with 8:32 to play, gave him the record 60 points.
He produced 41 points in the first half, had the second highest total since such stats were tracked, one shy of his idol Kobe Bryant 42 on March 28, 2003 against the Wizards. Bryant finished by scoring 55 games, but Irving fired right after that.
He spotted the Nets pad 86-56 as they headed to the locker room in the first half, with Irving chanted on the floor by magical fans. It was the highest scoring halftime in Nets history, and it was his first 30-point halfway game since April 3, 2013 in Cleveland.
The second half was simply routine, with the Nets leading 44 points.
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