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Nets All-Time Classic: Kyrie Irving scores franchise-record 60 points to lead Nets over Magic, 150-108

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving is the new Nets franchise record holder for points in a game … and he did it in Kyrie style.

It was an all-time Nets classic Tuesday night in Orlando; a night Irving scored a franchise-record and career-high 60 points on an efficient 20-of-31 shooting from the field and 8-of-12 shooting from 3-Point range. His 60-point blockbuster also marked a career-high and ties Karl-Anthony Towns for the most points scored in a single game this season.

“60, the night after Karl-Towns had an incredible performance and then to have Kyrie to do it the next night, the league is in an amazing place right now,” Durant said. “You’re seeing a lot of talent and skill being displayed every night. This was one of the elite ones.”

Irving and Kevin Durant also became the first pair of teammates to register 50+ point games in consecutive games. Ever. In NBA history.

“I didn’t know that. It’s a cool stat,” Durant said on the record. “I think you can see we’re both in a nice little groove right now. We want to continue and we know this is a huge night for Kai. He even said it coming into the locker room, ‘we got more to do.’ I love that mentality, even on a special night like this.”

Irving shattered Deron Williams’ 57-point franchise record that was set on March 4, 2012, against the Charlotte Bobcats. The 29-year-old also tallied six rebounds, four assists, four steals, one block, and a single turnover in 35 minutes of play.

“Yeah, somebody told me on the bench what it was. I’m just grateful it came in the flow of the game,” Irving said on his 60-point performance. “A few shots I probably shouldn't have taken: tough ones, double-teams coming, triple-teams coming. As long as I can do it with a smile on my face and my teammates weren’t too angry at me, it made this night worthwhile.”

The final score: 150-108. With the win, Brooklyn improves to 36-33 on the season and 22-15 on the road. The 150 points scored marks a season-high but come up seven points shy of the franchise record — 157 points, which occurred against Nash and the Suns in a double OT game on December 7, 2006.

“He’s just incredible. I felt like he had my career highlight reel in the first 12 minutes of the game,” Nash joked after the Nets’ 150-108 win over the Magic. “It’s a pleasure to see it up close and be a part of it.”

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Outside of the Player of the Night, six other Nets finished in double figures: Kevin Durant (19), Patty Mills (15), Kessler Edwards (14), Nic Claxton (12), Andre Drummond (10), and Bruce Brown (10). Claxton also had a double-double, adding 10 boards. Brooklyn dished a total of 35 assists on their 53 made shots (a season-high) and ended the contest shooting a blistering 60.2 percent from the field and 59.3 percent from 3-point range.

“Tonight worked out well in the big picture. We were able to keep people’s minutes relatively in check,” said Nash on the minutes play with Wednesday night’s second game of a back-to-back against the Dallas Mavericks looming. “Kai is really the only guy that played over 30 other than Kevin’s five seconds. With Kai not playing tomorrow night, I thought it worked out well for us tonight in many, many ways.”

The Nets put out their franchise-record 39th different starting five — Irving, Goran Dragic, Durant, Brown, and Drummond — against the Magic. Both teams opened the contest with offense and little defense. Brooklyn hit nine of their first 13 shots, powered by Irving (11 points), to take a 23-16 lead in the opening minutes.

The offensive dominance of Brooklyn since KD returned reached another level become Eve more blistering in Orlando. The Nets set a franchise-record with 48 points in the first-quarter, shooting better than 70 percent from the field AND from 3-Point range, dishing 13 assists on their 20 made shots. Irving and Durant combined for 26 points to propel a 48-30 lead after one.

“I’m sure in the first quarter, y’all seen developing,” said Durant on Irving’s then developing masterpiece: ”Sixteen through the first and then midway through the second, all of us on the bench still looking up. It’s just like that every game for Kai, when you look up and he got 10-12-14 points already. We seen he was well on his way to a high scoring night.”

The Irving show carried over into the second but got even more entertaining. In fact, it turned into one of the best individual first halves in NBA history and the highest-scoring half by any player this season.

The Nets guard put on a show, scoring a total of 41 points (14-of-19 shooting from the field and 6-of-7 shooting from behind the arc) in the quarter and ending the first half with a first-half career-high 30 points. The first half scoring performance was also a career-high for Irving and is the second-most points scored in a first half since stats by half were first tracked (1996-97), trailing Kobe Bryant (42 points) on March 28, 2003.

“When a guy has a game going like that, there’s nothing he can do wrong,” Drummond said on Irving’s performance Tuesday night. “For me, I just try to get him open as much as I can with the little space he needed and just try to get him the best shot possible. He was rolling, so it was fun to watch.”

Brooklyn Nets v Orlando Magic Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

When the dust settled, Brooklyn had a controlling 30-point lead (86-56) at the break. The 86 points also marked a franchise record for most points scored in any half and the 21 total assists set a season-high.

The 30-point lead slipped a bit in the early minutes of the third. Orlando trimmed their deficit down to 17 points but Brooklyn regained their footing behind the play of Irving, who had 10 points in the quarter and dished a handful of assists to cutters and big men near the basket. Irving checked out to get a breather on the bench at the 3:12 mark of the third and remained on the bench for the remainder of the frame. At the end of the third, Brooklyn led Orlando, 116-89.

It didn’t take long at all for Irving to finally break Williams’ Nets franchise record for most points scored in a game. At the 8:32 mark of the fourth, Irving drilled a 26-foot three for his 60th and final points of his career-best performance. Nash and the coaching staff pulled the guard for the remainder of the contest.

In the end, the all-time Nets classic concluded with a 42-point win — the biggest margin of victory in franchise history.

Twitter explodes with praise ... for Kyrie Irving

Starting with the owners...

And including players and former players, per ESPN...

They didn’t. He did.

Milestone Watch on steroids

Again, to recap...

  • Kyrie Irving posted the first 60-point game in franchise history, beating the previous record of 57 set by Deron Williams a decade ago. Irving has set a new career-high and has matched the NBA season-high, set by Karl-Anthony Towns Monday night for Minnesota at San Antonio.
  • Irving and Kevin Durant have each recorded two 50-point games this season. They are the second pair of teammates in NBA history to record multiple 50-point games in a season, joining Elgin Baylor (five) and Jerry West (two) with the 1961-62 Los Angeles Lakers.
  • Irving and Durant are the first teammates in NBA history to score 50+ points in consecutive games.
  • It’s the first time since 1962 that there have been 60-point games on consecutive days, Karl-Anthony Towns Monday, Irving Tuesday. Wilt Chamberlain did it by himself in 1962.
  • Irving is the third player in the past 25 seasons to score at least 40 points in the first half. He joins Kobe Bryant (42 in 2003) and Klay Thompson (40 in 2016).
  • Irving’s 41-point first half was

-Highest-scoring half in Irving’s career.

-Highest-scoring half for a player this season.

-Highest-scoring half for a player since Devin Booker scored 51 points in the second half (finished with 70 points) on 3/24/17 at Boston.

  • Irving’s 41 points in the first half are the most points for a Net in a first half since stats by half were first tracked (1996-97).
  • The Nets 42-point margin of victory is the biggest for the Nets in a road game in franchise history (previously: 39-point win at Orlando on 11/9/12).
  • The Nets posted their second 150-point game in franchise history. The New Jersey Nets scored a franchise record 157 points in a double overtime loss (161-57) on 12/7/06 vs. Phoenix, a game in which Steve Nash scored a career high 42 points.
  • Patty Mills is alone in third place in 3-pointers made in a season by a Net, breaking a tie with Allen Crabbe at 201. He was 5-of-7 from deep, giving him 206, five short of Joe Harris’s best year and leaving him only 28 short of D’Angelo Russell franchise record of 234. He’s averaging better than three a game and with 15 games left, passing DLo is doable.

As Sponge Bob might say...

What’s next

Dallas Mavericks v Boston Celtics Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets will host the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night at Barclays Center for the second game of a back-to-back. The game is slated to tip at 7:30 p.m. ET.

For a different perspective on Tuesday night’s contest, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post — our sister site covering the Magic.