Kyrie Irving shooting over defender’s arm, white uniform
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kyrie Irving hit nine three-pointers and scored a season-high 50 points, and the Brooklyn Nets snapped a four-game skid with a 132-121 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night.
Irving became one of 22 players in NBA history with five 50-point games, according to Basketball Reference. His career high is 57 points on March, 12, 2015, while with the Cleveland Cavaliers in an overtime win against San Antonio.
Andre Drummond dominated inside, finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds for Brooklyn, which got back to .500 on the season and moved into sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, breaking a tie with the Hornets.
Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier each finished with 30 points for Charlotte, which had its two-game win streak snapped. LaMelo Ball added 24 points and seven assists.
Kevin Durant had a quiet night by his lofty standards, finishing with 14 points.
But he didn’t have to do much lifting with Irving taking control most of the game. Irving finished 15-of-19 from the field and 9 of 12 from beyond the arc. He also was 11-of-13 from the line.
The Nets bolted to a 69-43 lead behind Irving’s 20 points in the first half and a dominating inside performance from Drummond, who had 13 points and six boards at the break. The Hornets didn’t help themselves, repeatedly committing turnovers with lazy passes, including two by Ball on back-to-back possessions.
Brooklyn led by 34 points in the second half before the Hornets cut the lead to 13 with less than four minutes left in the game. But Irving, as he’d done throughout the second half, knocked down a jumper to thwart the rally.
Nets: Durant was assessed a technical foul in the third quarter for pushing Rozier while trying to free himself up for an inbounds pass. … Seth Curry picked up a technical for arguing a call.
Hornets: Jalen McDaniels, who had been out since Jan. 21 with an ankle injury, returned to action. He played nine minutes and had two points. … Montrezl Harrell was assessed a technical foul when he shoved Nic Claxton.