INDIANAPOLIS — Kyrie Irving lastly received the long-awaited season debut he wished.
And the Nets received the elevate they wanted.
Irving shook off some early rust and the Nets shook off an enormous deficit, storming again for a 129-121 come-from-behind victory earlier than a shocked crowd of 14,176 at Bainbridge Fieldhouse.
It snapped a season-worst three-game dropping skid, and was a profitable first step in reintegrating Irving into the fold. The Nets pulled to inside 1 ½ video games of idle Chicago within the Japanese Convention.
“His return is one thing that he’s been enthusiastic about and comfortable to be again enjoying basketball and doing what he does and being part of this group,” Steve Nash mentioned. “So you possibly can see a smile on his face and the power and what it means to him to be again, and it’s thrilling for all of us to have him again within the fold.”
Kevin Durant was sometimes good with 39 factors, eight boards and 7 assists. And in his first motion since hurting his ankle in Recreation 4 of final season’s Japanese Convention semifinals again in June, Irving rebounded from a scoreless first quarter with 22 factors and 4 assists — together with enormous buckets down the stretch within the game-changing run.
The Nets (24-12) trailed by as a lot as 19, and it was 101-86 late within the third earlier than Brooklyn mounted a 25-5 run that spanned the durations and flipped the sport.
And Irving was on the coronary heart of it, giving the Nets a spark.
“That’d be nice,” Nash mentioned beforehand. “Nevertheless it might go the opposite method too. He might really feel very uncomfortable being in his first recreation. So, I wish to give him some house to have the ability to play nicely, play mediocre, play poorly. It’s not truthful to count on him to return again and treatment all of our ills.
“If he does really feel good and has a great outing, it might give our guys a elevate, for certain. However I don’t wish to put all that on him. The three-game dropping streak is just not his fault, isn’t any of his doing; so I don’t need him to really feel ready that [now] he’s received to treatment all these issues.”
The Nets surrendered essentially the most factors they’d allowed all season by a half (down 73-60) and thru three quarters (trailing 101-94).
However after permitting .554 taking pictures by three quarters, they held the Pacers to five of 18 within the ultimate interval.
Brooklyn trailed by as a lot as 81-62.
The Nets had been nonetheless down 101-86 following a Domantas Sabonis (32 factors) three-point play with 1:32 left within the third, however they closed with eight unanswered factors. Irving beat the buzzer with a 22-foot pull-up to get Brooklyn inside seven.
Nic Claxton (12 factors) fought for an offensive rebound and dunk to make it 105-102, and Patty Mills’ left-corner 3 put the Nets forward 107-106 with 7:32 to play.
Consecutive Irving midrange pull-ups pushed it to 111-106, and pushed Pacers coach Rick Carlisle to name a timeout. Nevertheless it was too late.
Brooklyn took a 114-108 edge on a pair of foul photographs by James Harden (18 factors, six assists, 5 boards), and cruised from there.