NBA: Kyrie Irving helps Nets trounce Jazz

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 06 2021 11:26 AM

NBA: Kyrie Irving helps Nets trounce Jazz 1
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots against the Utah Jazz during the first half at Barclays Center. Andy Marlin, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points in three quarters as the Brooklyn Nets started fast and cruised to a wire-to-wire 130-96 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night in New York.

The Nets played without Kevin Durant, who will be out for at least a week due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Durant tested positive for coronavirus during the NBA's pause last spring but was ruled out this week after being around someone who tested positive.

Irving made his first nine shots, shot 12 of 19 overall, and made five 3-pointers as the Nets shot 55.9 percent. He also added six rebounds, five assists and three steals while playing with four new starters (Taurean Prince, Jeff Green, Bruce Brown and Jarrett Allen).

Reserve Caris LeVert added 24 for the Nets, who led by as many as 26 in the first half and by as many as 34 in the fourth quarter.

Allen turned in a strong all-around game in his first start of the season, finishing with season highs of 19 points and 18 rebounds. He shot 8 of 9 from the floor as the Nets scored 68 points in the paint.

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points for Utah, which shot 38.8 percent after scoring a season-high 130 points Sunday in San Antonio.

Jordan Clarkson added 12 while Rudy Gobert finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Besides Mitchell and Gobert, the rest of Utah's starters combined for 22 points while shooting 9 of 24 from the floor.

Irving scored 12 points and the Nets made nine of their first 11 shots in a game-opening 20-4 blitz that forced Utah to call its second timeout with 6:10 remaining. Irving scored 18 points on 7-of-7 shooting and the Nets held a 35-14 lead through 12 minutes.

After calling an early timeout in the second, the Nets opened a 48-25 lead on a 3-pointer by Joe Harris with 7:16 left. Irving's eighth basket gave him 20 points and put Brooklyn up 50-27 nearly a minute later and the Nets took a 63-44 lead at halftime after Irving executed a no-look pass to Allen, who converted the dunk over Gobert with 6.2 seconds remaining.

LeVert scored 14 of Brooklyn's final 18 points of the third and the Nets extended their lead to 98-73 entering the fourth on Allen's putback right before the buzzer.