January 5, 2022; Indianapolis, Indiana, United States; Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) dribbles the ball in the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
In their first game with Kyrie Irving, it took a big comeback for the Brooklyn Nets to win.
The Nets are hoping their second game with Irving goes better on Monday night when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers for a makeup game.
The game was originally scheduled for December 23 but postponed because Brooklyn did not have enough players to field a roster due to its coronavirus outbreak. Irving was in protocol at the time but likely wouldn’t have played the game originally scheduled as it was scheduled for six days after the Nets announced he could play road games in places that didn’t require not that an artist is vaccinated.
The Nets are 2-4 in their last six games and the two wins have required a lot of effort and good rebounds.
On Wednesday, the Nets came out of a 19-point deficit when Irving scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter of a 129-121 victory at Indiana. On Sunday afternoon, Brooklyn lost a 12-point lead, didn’t score in the final four minutes of settlement, and escaped with a 121-119 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs when the rookie Cam Thomas hit the winning shot with 1.4 seconds left. .
“We haven’t let go,” said Nets coach Steve Nash. “We could have bowed our heads at times, but our defense and our energy stuck with it. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was better.
Kevin Durant has 28 points in 43 minutes and is averaging 30.5 games in six games since returning from protocol. He has also played over 40 minutes for the second time since his return and looks forward to the stretch where the Nets play six of their next eight on the road as Irving is not cleared to play at home.
“We’re definitely a better team, a much better team and that will definitely give us a boost,” Durant said. “So I can’t wait to be there. We had a few games on the road, an opportunity for us to build our chemistry. “
Portland will play its fourth game in a row without Damian Lillard, who suffers from an abdominal injury that also cost him five games from November 30 to December 30. 8. The Trail Blazers are 3-6 without Lillard so far and have just had their best defensive performance of the season.
On Sunday, the Blazers allowed their fewest points all season when they held the Sacramento Kings 38.8 percent from the field in a 103-88 end-to-end victory. That ended a 16-game streak by allowing at least 100 points and this is the seventh time Portland has allowed less than 40 percent shots.
“I told the guys before the game to have fun and compete,” Portland center Jusuf Nurkic said after totaling 14 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists. “Everyone touched the ball and moved it well. I think we did a great job, shared the ball and everyone was having fun.
Portland heads to Monday with three wins in their last 13 home games, but lately Anfernee Simons has been performing exceptionally well. Simons scored 31 points on Sunday and is averaging 29 points in his last four games.
Other than Lillard, the Blazers are unlikely to be without Norman Powell. Powell is averaging 23.7 points in his last three games, but was placed in protocol on Sunday and replaced in the starting lineup by Ben McLemore.
–Field level media