Kevin Durant on Kyrie Irving: He was cooking, didn't want to step in his way
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Kevin Durant reveals he was told Brooklyn Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn that Kyrie Irving should take the final shot against the Toronto Raptors. With the Nets and Raptors tied to 116 points apiece, Irving took the ball in his hands and was left one-on-one with Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.
Irving was able to make a separation and ultimately drain a game-winning three to give the Nets their fifth consecutive win. For Irving, it was his first-ever buzzer-beater game-winner. "He was already cooking, so I didn't want to get in his way.
We kept finding him late in the game. He made some big shots, and I was just like, 'Jacque, I think Ky should take this one,'" Durant said, per ESPN.
Durant showed the belief in Irving
Irving had a game-high of 32 points for the Nets, while Durant added 28 points.
"It just comes with the trust that we're building here. Jacque had a play call that we were about to go execute, and me and K had some dialogue and we decided to run the play for me. A good matchup versus Fred. We just got the better of him that one time.
Who would have thought I would have come into Toronto and hit my first game-winning buzzer-beater of my career? So pray that there's more in the future, but I'm glad that we got this win," Irving said. In the past, Irving didn't have many success in the final moments.
But against the Raptors, Irving delivered a stunning game-winner. "I'm not really comfortable. I just want to be great in those situations. And I've failed more than I've succeeded. So you can say anything you want about me not hitting shots in the past, but the one time when you step up and make it, those are the ones you want to remember.
Momentary praise is cool, but still trying to get ourselves together for what we're going to see in the future," Irving added. After struggling at the start of the season, the Nets have been playing much better lately and now they stand at 18-12.