Kyrie Irving went off for.39 points on Tuesday night and the Brooklyn Nets claimed a 124-120 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. In one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, Irving led the Nets in a tight contest to a victory.
"We just matched it tonight," Irving said, per AP. "We knew that they were going to bring it, so it was just an exciting game. It was great competition for the top players in the world, some of the top players in the world to go against each other on TV."
The trio of Irving, Kevin Durant and James Harden are tough to guard for any defense and Clippers star Paul George acknowledged that. "I thought there was a stretch there where we played great defense, were in their face and it was almost like each one of them took a turn making a shot," George said.
"They're just tough. They're tough to guard." The Nets have had several disappointing showings on the defensive end this season and they didn't want that to happen against the Clippers as well. "Once we get that down pat defensively, you're talking about blowing teams out," Harden said, "because offensively we'll continue to figure it out.
Defensively, we have to figure it out. That's what it has to be in order for us to be playing at the end."
Irving wanted to make amends
A game earlier, the Nets lost to the Washington Wizards 149-146. Wizards star guard Russell Westbrook scored 41 points, including a game-winning three.
"Like I said the other night, I took that personal just not being able to guard anyone," Irving admitted. Meanwhile, George wasn't happy with the officiating. "I mean, I think it was disrespectful that I had one free throw attempt today," said George, who had 26 points and six assists.
"I am going to leave it at that." "The amount of plays I initiated or created contact," George argued, "and to get sent to the line [one] time ... " The Clippers were without starting point guard Patrick Beverley, who is one of the best defenders at his position.
"One thing for sure: That we miss Pat Bev tonight," Clippers forward Nicolas Batum said of the injured Beverley, who is out with a knee injury. "We forget about that guy a lot, I think. It would be huge for us tonight. So, Pat Bev, come back, please."