By Adrian Stewart Co
Kyrie Irving proved to be the thorn on the side of former team
Boston Celtics as he carried Brooklyn Nets to a 121-109 victory in the 2020-2021 NBA Season on Thursday (Friday in the Philippines) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Holding to a slim 108-106 lead, James Harden converted on a layup before Irving connected on back-to-back triples as the Nets surged to a 116-109 advantage.
Following misses by the Celtics, Irving drained two freebies to make it an 118-109 spread before Jeff Green and Joe Harris sealed the win for Brooklyn with a dunk and a free throw, respectively.
Irving finished the match with 40 points, while Harden flirted with triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Nets improved to 25-13 slate.
Landry Shamet converted six triples and finished with 18 points, while Harris and Green added 12 and 11, respectively, for the Nets, which were without injured Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin.
Jason Tatum finished with 31 points and Marcus Smart returned from lengthy absence to finish with 19 markers as the Celtics dropped to 19-18 win-loss slate.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia 76ers bucked the absence of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to score a 127-105 victory over Chicago Bulls to remain on top of the East with 25-12 slate.
In other results, Tony Snell drained a buzzer-beating three-pointer as the Atlanta Hawks completed a come-from-behind 121-120 victory over Toronto Raptors.
Charlotte Hornets edged Detroit Pistons, 105-102; Milwaukee Bucks took down New York Knicks, 134-101; Minnesota Timberwolves toppled New Orleans Pelicans, 135-105; and Miami Heat beat Orlando Magic, 111-103.
BROOKLYN 121 – Irving 40, Harden 22, Shamet 18, Harris 12, Green 11, Johnson 6, Jordan 4, Brown 4, Claxton 4.
BOSTON 109 – Tatum 31, Smart 19, Theis 17, Brown 13, Walker 11, Thompson 8, Teague 5, Pritchard 3, R. Williams 2, G. Williams 0.
Quarterscores: 23-29, 58-55, 88-86, 121-109./ASC, WDJ