On Christmas Day 2020 division rivals in the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics would go toe to toe in Kyrie Irving’s first regular-season game back in Boston.
Despite the Celtics going shot for shot in the first half, The 7/11 duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving managed to take over in the second half and lead the Nets to a 123-95 victory.
In the first half, Celtics’ star Jayson Tatum gave the Nets a run for their money, and many of the Nets’ shots weren’t falling in the first half, resulting in a 54-51 Celtics lead at the half.
But in the third quarter, it seemed as if Kevin Durant never missed over 500 days of NBA basketball. Durant seemed almost AUTOMATIC from the field in the third and made a clear impact.
Caris LeVert would then take over at the beginning of the fourth, and Irving was just making every right play for the Nets. Irving finished with 37 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists, setting the Nets’ Christmas Day record for scoring. Even with an All-Defensive player in Marcus Smart guarding Irving for nearly the whole game, Irving really put Smart to work on offense.
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving finished with a combined 66 points on 59% shooting, while the rest of the nets roster had 57 points on 49% shooting. The fact that probably 8-10 of the players on the Nets roster could start on at least 15 NBA teams and see Irving and Durant take over and put on a show is VERY significant for the future of the Nets’ success.
Photo: Bob DeChiara