A former Duke basketball superstar was nearly perfect in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
It has not been an easy season for Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets, but the former Duke basketball sensation is looking to turn the page as the postseason is finally here.
Brooklyn had not yet qualified for the NBA Playoffs and needed a victory in the Play-In Tournament to make the field of the best eight teams in the Eastern Conference, and Irving put together one of his best efforts of the season on Tuesday night.
Kyrie Irving went for 34 points, three rebounds, and 12 assists on 12-of-15 shooting from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and 7-for-7 from the free throw line in the Nets’ 115-108 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that drafted Irving No. 1 overall in 2011 out of Duke.
Despite only playing 29 regular-season games due to his vaccination status, Irving averaged 27.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game while shooting 46.9-percent from the floor and 41.8-percent from 3-point range in his third season with Brooklyn.
The former Blue Devil had performances of 43, 50, and 60 points this season.
Seth Curry, Kyrie Irving’s teammate at Duke, did not have the same success on Tuesday night as his backcourt teammate with the Nets. He went scoreless on four shots in 33 minutes of action.
Duke basketball preparing for matchup of its best stars
The victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers sets up a juicy First Round playoff matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and the Boston Celtics with the storylines surrounding Kyrie Irving.
Irving was traded from the Cavaliers to the Celtics after bringing an NBA Championship to Cleveland in 2016 and publicly committing to signing a long-term deal with Boston before leaving for the Nets after the 2018-19 season.
Kyrie Irving was then seen stomping on the Celtics logo at center court in the TD Garden after Game 4 of the First Round in the 2021 Playoffs, following a 141-126 victory that pushed the Nets to a 3-1 series lead.
Game 1 between the Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn Nets against Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics is scheduled for Sunday, April 17 at 3:30 p.m. EST (ABC) from the TD Garden.