Kyrie Irving helps Nets play jazz


© Reuters. NBA: Utah Jazz at Brooklyn Nets


Kyrie Irving scored 29 points in three-quarters as the Brooklyn Nets got off to a quick start, taking a 130-96 wire-to-wire win over Utah Jazz in New York on Tuesday night.

The nets played without Kevin Durant, who will be out of action for at least a week due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Durant tested positive for coronavirus during the NBA hiatus last spring, but was ruled out this week after dating someone who tested positive.

Irving made his first nine shots, shot 12 of 19 total, and made five 3-pointers when the nets shot 55.9 percent. He also added six rebounds, five assists, and three steals while playing with four new starters (Taurean Prince, Jeff Green, Bruce Brown, and Jarrett Allen).

Reserve Caris LeVert added 24 for the networks, which were at the top at 26 in the first half of the year and 34 in the fourth quarter.

Allen showed a strong all-round game in his first season start and ended with a season high of 19 points and 18 rebounds. He shot 8 out of 9 from the ground when the nets scored 68 points in the paint.

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points for Utah, which scored 38.8 percent after a season high of 130 points on Sunday in San Antonio.

Jordan Clarkson added 12 while Rudy Gobert finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. In addition to Mitchell and Gobert, the rest of the Utah starters scored 22 points while taking 9 of 24 points off the ground.

Irving scored 12 points and the Nets made nine of their first eleven shots in a 20-4 blitz to open the game, forcing Utah to end their second timeout at 6:10. Irving scored 18 points on 7-of-7 and the Nets led 35-14 for 12 minutes.

After an early timeout in the second round, the Nets opened a 48-25 lead on a 3-pointer from Joe Harris with 7:16. Irving’s eighth basket earned him 20 points and almost a minute later put Brooklyn in the lead 50-27. The Nets took the 63-44 lead at halftime after Irving Allen missed a no-look pass that turned the Dunk 6.2 seconds ahead over Gobert.

LeVert scored 14 of Brooklyn’s last 18 points in the third and the Nets extended their lead to 98-73, finishing fourth on Allen’s putback just before the buzzer.

– Field level media

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