Kyrie Irving single-handedly ends Brooklyn’s skid with another fourth-quarter frenzy

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The Brooklyn Nets entered Friday night having lost four straight games since Kevin Durant was shelved with a sprained MCL. In Utah, Kyrie Irving decided he had enough, scoring a season-high 48 points as Brooklyn snapped its losing streak with a 117-106 victory over the Jazz.

When Durant went out, there was hope that Irving, who has been impressive all season when he played, and a supporting cast could give Brooklyn a boost, but that hasn’t happened with Irving is shooting 38 percent from the field – including 6 for 26 from 3 – for the three games before Friday night.

In Utah, Irving shot 8 of 15 from deep and 62 percent overall, adding 11 rebounds, six assists and four steals against one turnover to his ledger. The league’s leading scorer in the fourth quarter, Irving was again very tired when it counted most, recording 21 points in the fourth quarter on his usual diet of hard shooting.

When Kyrie cooks, he makes these scenes look so easy. They are not. These are very controversial looks that require a lot of work to even attempt, let alone do at a very effective level. Nights like Friday are why even other NBA players are in awe of Irving’s talent.

Seth Curry hit some big 3s to fuel Brooklyn’s effort, including a dagger that Kyrie set up to deflect off an impending double team and attack to his right for a layup. ‘ pull in to help, leaving Curry open in the strong corner. Bang.

It was the second straight game that Irving scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. He did the same against the Suns, but it ended up being a more desperate rush after a rough first three quarters as Brooklyn lost to a lowly Phoenix team. In Utah, he was going at Irving all night.

According to ESPN statistics, Irving is just the second player in Nets history to record at least 45 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game, joining Vince Carter (2007). To me, this tweet from The Athletic’s Tony Jones perfectly captures Irving’s performance on Friday.

In fact, this is what stars do. They know when to put their foot down. once Irving got going, there was no stopping him on Friday, and neither were the Nets.

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