Kyrie Irving’s ‘Winning Time’ show cements Nets’ trio of threats

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets were in need of their trio of elite offensive superstars in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden to pull them back to reality after a disappointing series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

With Harden having a poor night shooting the ball on Saturday, it was Irving who came to the rescue, totaling 28 points on 10-17 shooting while taking the game over in the fourth quarter to take down the Miami Heat.

Irving’s success in the clutch is nothing new, but the über-talented point guard flexing his muscles in crunch time shows that the Nets can pull out wins against playoff teams like Miami despite less-than-ideal circumstances.

And they can do it from every direction.

Kyrie Irving has quietly been putting up career-best numbers.

While often overshadowed by the spectacle of the Harden trade and the aura of Durant, Irving is scoring like he’s never scored before. Despite shooting more total field goals and three-pointers per game than ever before in his career, Irving has been shooting 52 percent from the field and 43 percent from deep. Those averages have helped him average 29.3 points per game this season.

Harden did not look like himself last night, and Irving picked up the slack. Just when it looked like the lack of depth would keep the Nets from winning unless all three superstars were playing well, Irving picked up the slack. When the calendar flips to April and May, that ability to remain calm late will be an invaluable feather in Brooklyn’s cap. Even with seven scoring titles and two MVPs between Harden and Durant, it’s Irving who takes over late in games.

The Nets have their problems, as blowing a huge fourth-quarter lead against the wounded Heat is unacceptable. However, with three of the five best scorers in the game on the floor at one time, including the consistently clutch Irving, Brooklyn should like their chances when the game gets close in the fourth.