DETROIT (AP) — Kyrie Irving took over, scoring on an array of shots and even over a backboard that was simply in his way.
Irving scored 17 of his 45 points in the third quarter to overcome a double-digit deficit and the Brooklyn Nets went on to beat the Detroit Pistons 121-111 in overtime yesterday.
“It was about time,” Irving said.
The six-time All-Star played in his sixth game after a 26-game absence due to an injured right shoulder, which he was treating shortly after his sensational performance.
At one point during Irving’s scoring tear after halftime, he shot a floater over six-foot-11 Andre Drummond and the backboard from the baseline.
“It just came down to execution and Kyrie having an out-of-body experience,” Drummond said. “When he’s knocking down shots like that, it is kind of tough to do anything against him. Irving made free throws early in the extra period to put the Nets ahead and his assists helped them end a five-game losing streak.
“The way we’ve been struggling it’s big for us,” Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie said.
The Nets went ahead 106-104 with 38.4 seconds left in regulation when Drummond was called for goaltending. Derrick Rose had an unforced turnover on the ensuing possession, then made up for it with a tying layup with 1.9 seconds left.
Irving missed a three-pointer just before the buzzer, sending it to overtime.
“We worked really hard, but it came down to a couple possessions at the end of regulation,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said. “I thought we ran out of gas a little in overtime.”