Irving Returns In Nets Win, Warriors End Road Skid 2022

Irving Returns In Nets Win, Warriors End Road Skid 2022

(AFP extension)

Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets marked the return of Kyrie Irving from an eight-game suspension with a 127-115 win over Memphis on Sunday, as the NBA champion Golden State Warriors finally earned their first road win of the season.

Irving, who was suspended by the Nets after his social media post linked to a movie condemned as anti-Semitic caused an uproar, scored 14 points in 26 minutes on the floor.

Kevin Durant led the Nets with 26 and Ben Simmons added 22 as seven Nets players scored in double figures.

That included Japanese reserve Yuta Watanabe, who hit four of the Nets’ 16 three-pointers en route to 16 points.

“It was great to have him have a few minutes out there and for us to get a win while he did it,” said Nets coach Jacque Vaughn, who said he expected Irving and the team to be able to focus on basketball in the future.

“At the end of the day, it’s all about hooping now,” Vaughn said of his message to Irving. “I used that word.

“From today on, that’s what we’ll be dealing with. Basketball is a fact. You get the rebound, that’s a fact. Chess out, that’s a fact. You’re the one shooting, that’s a fact.

“So we’re going to make this thing real. It’s about basketball and we’re going to live in that space.

The row around Irving, who was suspended a week into his late October job for failing to offer an apology, came the same week Vaughn took over after Steve Nash was sacked in the wake of a 1-5 Nets at the start of the season.

They’ve now improved to 8-9, with former Rookie of the Year Simmons finally returning to life for the team he joined in a trade last season after his relationship with Philadelphia soured over fights with a back injury and mental health issues.

Simmons connected on 11 of 13 shot attempts for his first 20-point game since the 2021 playoffs for the 76ers, who host the Nets on Tuesday.

Dillon Brooks scored 31 points for the Grizzlies, who were without dynamic star Ja Morant, Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson.

In Houston, Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson erupted from his early season slump with a 41-point performance in Golden State’s 127-120 win over the Rockets.

Thompson drilled 10 of the Warriors 24 three-pointers, getting off to a strong start when he scored half of the Warriors 40 points in the first quarter.

The Rockets, bottom of the Western Conference, fought back to take a four-point lead at halftime, but Stephen Curry scored 16 of his 33 points in the third quarter as the Warriors reassembled themselves.

The tenacious Rockets managed to take a lead by one midway through the quarter, but Thompson’s final three-pointer and Curry’s high shot put the Warriors over the line in the final minute.

“Well, it’s been a long time coming,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, “but we’re happy to get the win.”

Nuggets stun Mavs

Denver’s Michael Porter hit the game-winning three-pointer with 55.2 seconds remaining in Dallas to lead the Nuggets to a 98-97 victory over the Mavericks.

Denver backup Bones Hyland led all scorers with a season-high 29 points as the Nuggets overcame the absence of reigning two-time Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic, who was sidelined along with Jamal Murray over concerns about Covid.

The Nuggets were boosted by an incredible three-pointer from just over the halfway line from backup Vlatko Cancar at the buzzer to end the first half.

In fact, the shot came after halftime, when the officials decided to replay the last two seconds of the second quarter when it was determined during halftime that Dallas star Luka Doncic had walked off the field as he got up for that which was originally marked a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

In Los Angeles, the Lakers were in control during a 123-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, despite the absence of superstar LeBron James for the fourth straight game with a groin injury.

Anthony Davis scored 30 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Lakers and with the game in hand sat out much of the fourth quarter.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was not on the bench and the team said after he arrived at the arena that he was ill.

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