Duke basketball: Kyrie Irving returns to the court for the Brooklyn Nets

Former Duke basketball star Kyrie Irving (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball star Kyrie Irving (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former Duke basketball standout Kyrie Irving returned to the court for the Brooklyn Nets. 

The Brooklyn Nets (32-15) remain the hottest and most talked about team in the NBA, and the Finals favorites saw the return of former Duke basketball superstar Kyrie Irving.

After taking his second personal leave of absence from the team due to family matters, Irving missed a three-game road trip, in which Brooklyn won two games against the Portland Trail Blazers and Detroit Pistons.

Its lone loss on the road swing came against the Utah Jazz, in which neither Irving, James Harden, nor Kevin Durant played for Brooklyn.

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However, the former Blue Devil flew under the radar in his return against the Minnesota Timberwolves (11-36) on Monday night thanks to another triple-double from James Harden.

Harden finished with 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists in the Nets’ 112-107 victory while the MVP contender tied Jason Kidd for the single-season franchise record for triple-doubles with 12 and only needed 32 games to do it.

Duke basketball star might play better out of the spotlight

Kyrie Irving ended his night second on the team in points with 27 in addition to contributing seven rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block with no turnovers in 33 minutes while shooting 11-of-22 from the field yet just 2-of-8 from three-point range.

Kyrie Irving ended up hitting the game-icing free throws with 8.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter to push Brooklyn’s lead from three to five.

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In his second season with the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving has seen the floor in 32 games while averaging 28.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game on 52.0-percent shooting from the floor and 40.1-percent from three-point range.

The Brooklyn Nets continue their three-game homestand against James Harden’s former team, the Houston Rockets, on Wednesday, March 31 at 7:30pm EST. The Nets defeated Houston on the road, 132-114, on March 3.

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