Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie Irving scores 21 points in 20 minutes vs. Atlanta Hawks in first game back for the Brooklyn Nets

After missing 26 games with a right shoulder impingement, Kyrie Irving didn't miss a beat in his first game back as the Brooklyn Nets secured a 108-86 win over the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center.


"I really missed the game of basketball. I'm grateful to be out here man, I worked extremely hard to get back," Irving said post-game.

"We've got a long season ahead of us, a lot more goals to accomplish and it started tonight and we've got to continue to do it."

In just 20 minutes of action, Irving recorded 21 points on a near-perfect 10-of-11 from the field, adding four rebounds, and three assists.

He dazzled with an array of moves, scoring at the rim, from mid-range as well as knocking down his lone three-point attempt - putting on a show for the home crowd.

Despite his lengthy layoff, Irving showed no signs of rust, with his 90.9 percent shooting from the field, the best percentage of his career.

"I just work on my game diligently, but you have nights like this but coming back with my teammates, having the support of them and like I said, having my family here is always a great joy," Irving said of his efficient performance.
"I love the game man, I missed it so much."
Kyrie Irving's shotchart vs. Hawks:
It wasn't just Irving filling it up, as the Nets poured in 70 first-half points on 65.8 percent shooting from the field and 56.3 percent from beyond the arc to take a commanding 70-46 lead at the half.
They kept their foot on the gas, opening the third quarter on a 15-2 run, with Irving scoring eight of those points as they extended the lead to 85-48 five minutes into the second half and led by as many as 39 points in the quarter.

The Hawks, who played without Trae Young (hamstring) shot just 33 percent from the field and 25.0 percent (12-of-48) from the three-point line, as they lost their fourth straight.

Rookie Cam Reddish led them in scoring with 20 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three, adding five steals, two assists and one monster dunk in the first quarter.

For the Nets, who have now won two in a row after dropping seven-straight, six players scored in double figures, with Jarrett Allen recording a 10-point, 2-rebound double-double. Taurean Prince added 14 points and Joe Harris 11, while Caris LeVert and DeAndre Jordan chipped in 13 points apiece.
Allen and Jordan asserted their authority inside as the Nets outrebounded the Hawks 62-33, with six different Nets players hauling in 5+ boards.
Vince Carter received a warm ovation from the home fans when he checked in and out for good in his final road game against the Nets.

Carter played five seasons with the Nets in New Jersey and is third on the franchise's all-time scoring list.

"Vince knows I'm coming for his record as one of the Nets' all-time leading scorers, but that man right there, give it up for VC man, give it up for VC man," Irving added post-game.

"Because that started back on the old Nets culture in New Jersey at Continental Airlines [Arena] and I was watching him as a kid do special things with J-Kidd [Jason Kidd] and Richard Jefferson, so man it's awesome to play against him, it's truly a grateful opportunity."

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