No Kevin Durant, no problem.
Kyrie Irving showed just how much offensive power the Brooklyn Nets have at their disposal, turning in a scorching performance to secure a 130-96 win over the Utah Jazz.
With Durant sidelined due to health and safety protocols, Irving seized control of the offence, pouring in 29 points in 30 minutes on 12-of-19 from the field and 5-of-7 from the 3-point line.
Irving was in his bag from the jump, scoring 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter on a perfect 7-of-7 shothirdoting, as the Nets led by 21 at the end of the period and as many as 34 in the wire-to-wire win.
Kyrie PERFECT in 1Q 😳- NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2021
18 PTS | 7-7 FGM | 4-4 3PM
📲💻: League Pass pic.twitter.com/4WKIz6F3xZ
His 18 points are the most in a single quarter by any Nets player this season, adding six rebounds, five assists and threee steals as he battled hard on both ends of the floor.
Alongside a new-look starting group including Bruce Brown, Jeff Green, Jarrett Allen, and Taurean Prince, Irving set the tone for his teammates in a much-needed win after they dropped four of their past five games.
Irving wasn't alone, getting a big night on both ends from Jarrett Allen, who went off for 19 points, 18 rebounds, three steals and two blocks on 8-of-9 shooting - his third double-double in his last four games.
His presence on the glass was a game-changer for the Nets, who outrebounded the Jazz 51-42 as Allen muscled up inside against Rudy Gobert. The Nets finished with 66 points in the paint and 31 assists on 52 made field goals, both season highs.
"I mean he did it all," Nets coach Steve Nash said of Allen post-game.
"He rebounded, he protected the basket, he had a lot of pressure on him protecting the basket,. He blocked shots, he got steals, just so impactful, incredible energy, effective, scored in traffic, scored through contact, just did it all, really proud of him."
The DIME or the DUNK?? 🤔💥 pic.twitter.com/X2jn2oXYCU- NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2021
Caris LeVert added 24 points and five assists, his third 20-point game of the season, while Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 11 points and Joe Harris added 10.
Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 31 points, while Rudy Gobert added 10 points and 11 rebounds on 3-of-10 shooting.
The Nets now move to 4-4 on the season ahead of a tough test against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, a game which Durant will also be out for.
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