"You're the point guard, and I'm going to play shooting guard."
Those were Kyrie Irving's words to James Harden just a few days back as the Brooklyn Nets look to have settled on their backcourt roles - and the early results are already looking good for both.
While James Harden continues to dish out assists for fun, Irving's shift to shooting guard brings out his best attribute....getting buckets.
In Monday's 136-125 win over the Sacramento Kings, Irving was at his offensive best, dancing on defenders, attacking the rim with freedom and splashing threes with ease as the Nets knocked down a franchise-record 27 triples on the night.
He was responsible for nine of those, missing only two attempts from deep on his way to a season-high 40 points, adding four rebounds, three assists and two steals, shooting 15-of-22 from the field.
"It's a movie, it's like a show, Harden said of Irving's scoring post-game. "Sometimes I forget I'm on the court ..one of the reasons why I'm here."
"It's so easy, obviously for myself, but he makes the game so easy for the rest of the team when he has it going like that."
Kyrie Irving tonight:- StatMuse (@statmuse) February 16, 2021
in 31 MINS
He's the first Nets player with 40+ points on 80+ 3P% since Vince Carter in 2005. pic.twitter.com/36tkNVKU7P
Irving started the game on fire, scoring 16 of Brooklyn's first 28 points and after leading 74-68 at the half, the Nets blew the game open in the third quarter, with a 20-0 run.
Leading 82-80, they were unstoppable over a five-minute span, beginning with a monster jam from Jeff Green, before Joe Harris and Irving drained back-to-back threes. Irving and Harden then combined for the next 10 points and with 2:50 to go in the period, the Nets were in front 102-80.
20-0 Nets Run- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 16, 2021
34 points and 7 threes already for KAI
THIS IS FUN pic.twitter.com/X0dWpMFgxB
While Irving was scoring for fun, Harden continued to impress as the team's facilitator. Coming off a franchise-record 16 assists against the Golden State Warriors in their last game, he poured in his fifth-tripe-double in a Nets uniform with 29 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds, - his ninth straight game with a double-double, one shy of the franchise record of 10.
Harden may be a three-time scoring champion, but his willingness to create shots for others, while still possessing one of the most devastating offensive games in the league, makes the Nets a frightening matchup for opposing defences.
"At the end of the day, we're both playmakers," Harden said of he and Irving. "We're both scorers cause at any point we both can get hot and get it going and then we're also unselfish to where we can make plays for our team."
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