);
Brooklyn Nets

'Mamba mentality' - Kyrie Irving pours in 54 points in Brooklyn Nets' win over Chicago Bulls

Kyrie Irving ... take a bow!

As the NBA continues to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, Irving, one of Bryant's closest friends in the league, honoured the "Black Mamba" with one of the best scoring performances of his career.

Irving went off for a season-high 54 points, adding five rebounds and five assists, but his efficiency on the night was on a whole other level.

Irving went 19-of-23 from the field and a sizzling 7-of-9 from the 3-point line in the Brooklyn Nets' 133-108 win over the Chicago Bulls.

He was a man on the mission in the first half, pouring in 27 points on a perfect 10-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from 3. He kept his foot on the gas in the second half, knocking down any shot he wanted - mid-range, at the rim, beyond the arc, capping off his night with a Kobe-like fadeaway to bring up his 54th point of the game.

"I'm just happy to be back playing the game that I love most," Irving said post-game.

"The most beautiful sound is just hearing these fans out here, having my family here it just makes it all worth it. The decision to come back home is well worth it, I'm cemented, I'm here, I'm grounded, I'm rooted and I'm just happy, so I'm happy for my teammates as well, they did a great job of just giving me confidence.

"I hit a few shots in the first half so I had to keep it going and Kobe mentality, Mamba mentality, keep going, keep going, so it felt good."

Today's performance was just three points shy of his career-high 57, which he scored against the San Antonio Spurs in 2015 while a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving is now the first Nets player to have two 50-point games in a single season after giving the Minnesota Timberwolves a 50-piece in his first game. Today's 54-point performance is the second-most points scored by a Nets player in franchise history.

Per YES Network, Irving also became the fastest player to reach 500 points in a Nets uniform, needing just 18 games to do so.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 20 points off the bench, while Taurean Prince added 16, Jarrett Allen 12 and Garrett Temple 11 as the Nets move to 21-26 on the season.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 22 points and eight assists as the Bulls fall to 13-32 on the season.

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