Irving Scores 40 as Short-Handed Nets Beat the Knicks

The injured Nets star Kevin Durant has been missing since mid-February, but his team got some good news on Monday with the return of James Harden, who had missed Brooklyn’s last two games with a hamstring injury.

Harden’s return lasted four minutes.

When the injury flared up again, he asked to come out. That left the Nets in a serious bind against the Knicks at Barclays Center, their Big Three reduced to a lonely one.

Step forward, Kyrie Irving. The third member of the Nets’ star triumvirate poured in 40 points with a blend of speed, strength and deep 3-pointers, as the Nets — short-handed as they have been for much of the season — beat the Knicks, 114-112.

It will be like this for a while longer: The Nets said Tuesday afternoon that Harden had undergone a magnetic resonance imaging exam that revealed a right hamstring strain. His status will be re-evaluated in about 10 days, the team said.

For one night, though, it hardly mattered. Irving shot 15 of 28 from the field against the Knicks, made five 3-pointers and also led his team with seven assists. Jeff Green added 23 points, tying his season high, but was merely a supporting player in Irving’s impressive performance.

“This is the Brooklyn way, also mixed with a little Jersey swag,” Irving said in an on-court interview after the game, to the cheers of the pandemic-limited crowd of 1,700. He went to high school in Elizabeth, N.J., before spending his only college season at Duke.

Harden remains a most valuable player candidate, scoring 25 points a game and leading the league in assists (10.9 per game) and minutes (37.1).

With a third straight win over the Knicks, the Nets completed a season sweep of their rivals for the first time since 2014-15.

Durant, who has his own hamstring injury, shot around before the game, and the Nets said they were hopeful he would return soon. Durant, Harden and Irving have played together only seven times since joining the Nets, making it all the more remarkable that the team leads the Eastern Conference.

Randle’s triple-double — 19 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists — was his fourth of the season. The Knicks are hanging on to the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, on track for their first playoff appearance since 2012-13.

Sahred From Source link Sports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *