NEW YORK — With a as soon as double-digit lead whittled all the way down to only one level within the ultimate quarter of the Brooklyn Nets‘ Saturday night time recreation towards the Miami Warmth, Kyrie Irving took over. He splashed in clutch 3-pointers, had driving layups and made key free throws to assist raise the Nets to a 128-124 victory.
Down the stretch, Irving stated his mentality was: “It is successful time.”
“I’ve at all times stated that all through my profession,” Irving stated. “When it will get all the way down to that time, clearly you simply wish to buckle down on the defensive finish, get stops, and I felt like we did that.”
The win snapped a two-game shedding streak for the Nets, who dropped a pair of video games on the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week. Irving’s 18 fourth-quarter factors had been essentially the most he has scored in a ultimate quarter since becoming a member of Brooklyn.
“We had two losses the place we needed to study rather a lot in a short time,” Irving stated. “And we simply moved on to the following night time. And I really feel like we gave the trouble in spurts, and clearly we wish to have extra consistency in that — and that’ll take time. I am pleased with the trouble tonight.”
Bam Adebayo completed with a career-high 41 factors, 5 rebounds and 9 assists for the Warmth.
“It was about time Bam had 40 when it comes to getting lots of these strikes that he is been engaged on within the offseason,” Irving stated. “Simply watching him develop since highschool, be capable of take over at this level for form of an undermanned Miami crew, it is good to see.”
The Nets got here into Saturday’s recreation with the purpose of enhancing defensively. Whereas they could not totally include Adebayo, there have been glimmers of enchancment.
After being outrebounded 50-29 on Friday in Cleveland, the Nets buckled down in defensive rebounding towards the Warmth. Brooklyn had an 81.3% defensive rebound charge on Saturday — its third highest in a recreation this season — as in comparison with simply 58.1% the night time earlier than.
Nets coach Steve Nash continued to experiment with lineups involving the crew’s three All-Stars. Harden performed 11 minutes with each Durant and Irving on the bench. And whereas Harden’s 12 factors had been his fewest since January 2020, his 5 straight video games with double-digit assists have already tied for the fourth longest such streak in Nets historical past.
“It feels good to not have to attain a lot to offer ourselves an opportunity to win a recreation,” Harden stated. “I can go on the market and simply be a playmaker and shoot my shot when it is obtainable and nonetheless get guys concerned — and nonetheless have an opportunity to win the sport.”
“That is a change,” Harden added. “However for me simply being the participant that I’m, impacting the sport in different methods aside from scoring.”
After the competition, Irving and Adebayo tried to swap jerseys on the courtroom, earlier than a Warmth safety guard ushered Adebayo away. This season, swapping jerseys on the courtroom is a violation of the NBA’s coronavirus well being and security guidelines.
“I simply wish to comply with NBA protocol,” Irving stated, smiling, earlier than including: “I’ve the jersey, the way in which.”