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Kyrie Irving Steps Up As Desperate Nets Finally Get A Win

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets arrives to the arena before … [+] the game against the Los Angeles Lakers

Kyrie Irving finally said enough was enough.

Just like that, the Nets’ five-game losing streak came to an end.

Irving scored 33 of his 45 points in the second half and overtime, and the Nets beat the Pistons 121-111 on Saturday in Detroit to pick up their first victory since Jan. 12.

“We needed it. We needed it bad,” Irving told YES Network. “That’s how hard we’ve got to play.”

Irving added seven assists and six rebounds while shooting 15-for-30 from the field.

“It’s about time,” he said of his surge after halftime.

In his previous three games, the 27-year-old All-Star point guard had averaged 17 points and shot 35.8 percent. But this time, he would not be denied, as the Nets picked up a victory they desperately needed.

Irving will play his first game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night. He’s probably going to get booed vociferously. So it goes.

Jarrett Allen, Wilson Chandler, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie joined Irving as Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson’s closing lineup, making several clutch plays as a unit to help the Nets (19-25) stave off the Pistons (17-30).

Irving has already missed 27 games this season due to injuries. It’s been difficult finding a rhythm and developing chemistry with his teammates. Atkinson elected to remove Dinwiddie from the starting lineup on Saturday for the first time since Irving went down with a shoulder impingement in mid-November.

It worked.

After losing all five of their games to plus-.500 teams, the Nets now have a stretch of seven straight against sub-.500 opponents.

Thanks to Irving, they’re 1-0 in that stretch so far.


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