Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving Scores Franchise-Record 60 Points
Irving tops 50 points for second time in a week as Nets beat Magic 150-108
Every night, a new brush with brilliance and another performance to remember.
Two nights after Kevin Durant scored 53 points, a week after he had hit for 50 himself, Kyrie Irving rang up a historic night in Orlando with a franchise-record 60 points in a 150-108 win over the Magic.
With that, Irving and Durant became the first pair of teammates to score 50 points in consecutive games and the second to each put up multiple 50-point games in a season after Jerry West and Elgin Baylor for the 1961-62 Los Angeles Lakers.
“That's a cool stat,” said Durant. “I think you could see that we're both in a nice little groove right now and we want to continue. We know this is a huge night for Ky but he even said it coming into the locker room, 'We got more to do.' And I love that mentality. Even on a special night like that.”
60 PTS— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 16, 2022
And we've got every bucket for your enjoyment pic.twitter.com/A47LfuHY5X
Along the way, the Nets hit a series of franchise highlights:
- Highest-scoring regulation game in team history (150)
- Highest-scoring half in team history (86 points in first half)
- Second highest-scoring quarter in team history (48 in first quarter)
It was all fueled by Irving, who — much as he did a week ago in Charlotte — put together an epic scoring night driven by stunning efficiency. He finished shooting 20-for-31 (64.5 percent) overall and 8-for-12 (75.0 percent) from 3-point range, plus 12-for-13 from the foul line. The box score was full as well — six rebounds, four assists, and four steals, all in 35 minutes.
“He’s just incredible,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash. “It felt like he had my career highlight reel in the first 12 minutes of the game. It’s special to watch him every night but it’s special to watch him on nights like this where he’s in total control, total command, gets wherever he wants and is able to finish amongst the trees. It’s a pleasure to see it up close and to be a part of it.”
Irving checked off a string of individual superlatives as well. The 60 points were a career-high, as well as matching Karl-Anthony Towns for the highest scoring game in the NBA this season, which Towns accomplished just one night earlier. He had 41 points in the first half for just the third 40-point first half since the NBA officially began tracking the stat for the 1996-97 season, with the other two belonging to Kobe Bryant and Klay Thompson.
The ferocious first half featured Irving making 14 of his first 17 shots, including 6-of-7 3-pointers
“I'm sure in the first quarter y'all seen it developing,” said Durant. “Sixteen in the first and then midway through the second all of us on the bench still looking up. It's just like that every game for Ky when you look up you're like, damn, he got 10, 12, 14 points already. We'd seen he was well on his way to a high scoring night. So, 60 the night after Karl Towns had an incredible performance and have Kyrie do it the next night, the league is an amazing place right now and you're seeing a lot of talent and skill be on display every night and this was one of the elite ones.”
By the end of the third quarter, Irving had reached 51 points.
“When a guy has a game going like that, there’s nothing he can do wrong,” said Andre Drummond. “I mean for me, I just try to get him open as much as I can – I mean, as little space he needed – and just try to make sure he got the best shot possible. I mean, he was rolling so it was fun to watch.”
NETS WIN pic.twitter.com/9QgcsnED58— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) March 16, 2022
The Nets were still up by 27 at that point — the lead had been 30 at halftime — so all that was really left was to see how high Irving would go. Deron Williams’ franchise record of 57 points, set in Charlotte on March 4, 2012, was right there to be taken at the start of the fourth quarter.
“Somebody told me on the bench what it was,” said Irving. “And I'm just grateful it came in the flow of the game. A few shots probably I shouldn't have taken: Tough ones, double-team, triple-teams coming. But as long as I could do it with a smile on my face and my teammates weren't too angry at me, it made this night worthwhile.”
He matched Williams with a pair of free throws, and then a minute later pulled up for a 3-pointer with 8:32 remaining in the game. Irving had 60, and with that came the end of his night as a road crowd he had converted in the game’s earliest moments shared its admiration.
‘You heard it in warmups when they introduced us there was a loud roar for Ky and he has so many fans all across the world and so many people that he impacts which is on top of his talent, which is being who he is every day and to see that love was incredible,” said Durant. “But for him to go out there and put a show on for them and give them a memorable night makes it even better.”
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