Author of a high-level performance last night (40 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists), Kyrie Irving allowed the Brooklyn Nets to dominate the derby against the New-York Knicks (114-112) for the third time this season .
Harden out, Kyrie responds present
After two missed games with a thigh injury, James Harden was back in the starting five. Still handicapped by this physical glitch, he must forfeit the rest of the game after 4 minutes of play. Already orphaned by Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin, the Nets must rely on their leader. Author of an honorable 54% in the shoot including 42% at 3 points and a sublime fadeaway in the fourth quarter, Uncle Drew is the MVP of the night.
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An indecisive meeting
Yet it was badly embarked for the Nets, led by ten points at halftime (57-67). In the third quarter, they inflict a 31-21 which allows them to tackle the lead. Despite a second half dominated by Steve Nash’s players, we witnessed an extremely close end to the game. This derby knows its outcome thanks to two free throws scored by Jeff Green three seconds from the end. For his fourth triple-double of the season, Knicks winger Julius Randle (19 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists) tries the equalizer shoot at the buzzer. In vain. This season, the keys to the city are unquestionably reserved for the Nets.
With this victory, Brooklyn (35v-16d) regains the lead in the Eastern Conference ahead of Philadelphia (34v-16d). Kyrie’s teammates at the same time erase the disappointment suffered Sunday night at the United Center in Chicago. For their part, the Knicks keep their 8th place after this fourth defeat in their last five meetings. As for Irving, he proved once again that he was a clutch player.
Photo credits: Al Bello / Getty Images