Nets Notes: Irving, Durant put on show, Nets defeat Suns at home
photo credit: NBA
It would be pretty tough for Steve Nash to be any happier with his team’s performance than he was on Sunday. In Kevin Durant’s return to the court after a thigh contusion, the Brooklyn Nets did just about everything right at home against the Phoenix Suns.
Still without superstar point guard and final member of the big three, James Harden, Brooklyn completely locked it down defensively from tip.
The Nets held a flying Suns team to 32 points in the first quarter while posting 27 themselves. Brooklyn went on to outscore Phoenix 32-27 in the next twelve-minute set.
The second half turned a tight game tighter. Durant got hot, Kyrie Irving stayed hot, and Blake Griffin, Jeff Green, and Joe Harris did their jobs. The Nets started buzzing and posted 38 third-quarter points compared to Phoenix’s 31.
The deal was sealed in the fourth, where the Nets finished the job and won the game 128-119.
Besides a few hiccups with rim protection, the Nets’ Sunday matinee display was quite impressive.
Durant didn’t miss a beat, posting 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Irving had 34 points, 6 rebounds, and 12 assists. When asked about Irving’s performance after the game, Griffin had some pretty high praise for his teammate. “When he’s like that tonight, you kind of just give him the ball and let him do his thing,” Griffin said. “Even when he’s not hitting shots, he affects the game,” Griffin also went on to say of the twenty-nine-year-old point guard. Griffin had himself a night, too, playing 27 minutes and putting up 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in that time. Green had 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Harris had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and an assist. It is normal to feel a bit rusty at the beginning of games, and Brooklyn certainly found their footing. As a complete team, it’s hard to picture a better all-around game.
The Nets look to continue their recent play and hold onto first place in the East. They travel to Florida to take on the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7:30 PM Eastern Time.