You couldn’t ask for much more from the Brooklyn Nets on a Sunday night at Barclays Center.
The Nets welcomed Kyrie Irving back to the lineup and blitzed the visiting Atlanta Hawks right out of the gate before cruising to a 108-86 win.
Sidelined for 26 games with a shoulder impingement, Irving was sharp in his return, shooting 10-for-11 in scoring a team-high 21 points in 20 minutes with four rebounds and three assists.
The Brooklyn offense roared to life all around as the Nets shot 53.2 percent for the game, including 38.5 percent from 3-point range. The Nets also outrebounded Atlanta 62-33 while limiting the Hawks to 33.0 percent shooting, including 25.0 percent from 3-point range.
Taurean Prince had 14 points and five rebounds for Brooklyn, and Caris LeVert and Deandre Jordan scored 13 each. Jordan also had eight rebounds. Jarrett Allen had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Spencer Dinwiddie had seven points and eight assists.
The Nets piled up 70 first-half points, shooting 65.8 percent overall and 56.3 percent from 3-point range in the first half to take a 24-point lead at the break.
They were sharp from the start, jumping out to a 10-2 lead after a pair of Irving drives and making seven of their first nine shots. A 17-3 run exploded the Brooklyn lead to 20 points before the end of the first quarter, and they led 37-16 going into the second quarter.
The Nets eventually closed out the first half with a 7-2 run to go up 70-46 at halftime.
After the Hawks scored the first two points of the second half, Brooklyn scored 15 straight to push its lead to 85-48 five minutes into the half, with Irving scoring eight points in the run. The Nets eventually led by 39 points in the quarter, their largest lead in any game this season, and took a 92-64 lead into the fourth quarter.