EM – NBA recap: Irving makes season debut for Nets

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Kyrie Irving, who failed to play because of his refusal to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, joins the team part-time.

Kyrie Irving exchanges a high five with Net’s coach Steve Nash during Brooklyn’s 129-121 against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday in Indianapolis. Irving scored 22 points in his first game of the season. Darron Cummings / Associated Press

NEW YORK – Kyrie Irving could be just the jolt the Brooklyn Nets need to escape a mid-season slump.

After keeping Irving out of the team’s first 35 games for refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine, Irving made his much-anticipated debut of the season.

Coach Steve Nash said it was clear that Irving, who shot and missed the game’s first shot by the nets, was excited to be back.

“So you can see the smile on his face and the energy and what it means for him to be back, and it’s exciting for all of us to have him back in the herd “said Nash.

Irving is unable to play at home because of New York City’s vaccination requirements and was undesirable on the road. The Nets didn’t want a part-time player and sent him away during the preseason.

Things have changed. Nash said with the recent COVID-19 outbreak that severely understaffed the Nets, having the superstar part-time was a better option than signing more players on 10-day hardship contracts.

Kevin Durant scored 39 points to the Nets, who have lost three straight times, all at home, and Irving can’t stop the Nets fighting in Brooklyn if he stays unvaccinated. The vaccine is required for New York athletes who play in public places. He said it was best for him to refuse and he was aware that there would be ramifications.

But he can play in street games in the cities where there is no mandate, including any upcoming games during a stretch where the Nets are away for seven of the next 11 games.

Domantas Sabonis had 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for the Pacers, who have lost six straight. Lance Stephenson, who previously had two stints with the Pacers, scored 30 goals in his first home game after signing a 10-day contract.

Stephenson delighted the home crowd by scoring the last 20 points in the first quarter the Pacers scored when Indiana took the lead 37:32. He hit 8 of 9 shots, 4 of 5 3-pointers in that 6-plus-minute distance.

The 20 points were a record for any Pacers player in the first quarter. It was also the most points in the first quarter for a player who came off the bench.

The Pacers shot 62% to a 73-60 lead at halftime. Irving hit with a shot in the third quarter to reduce Indiana’s lead to 101-94. That crowned an 8-0 run by the Nets.

76ERS 116, MAGIC 106: Joel Embiid scored 31 points, Tobias Harris added 22 and Philadelphia won in Orlando.

The 76ers, who made their top 14. NBA road win of the season, hit a season high with a fifth straight win.

ROCKETS 114, WIZARDS 111: Kevin Porter Jr. hit a 3-pointer from the right to Houston 0.4 seconds from the end to bring a win in Washington.

Porter and Christian Wood returned from suspension for one game because they harmed the team. Wood added 22 points and 11 rebounds to help the Rockets hit an eight-game losing streak.

Bradley Beal led Washington with 27 points. He fouled 9:10 to play his second offensive foul.

HORNETS 140, PISTONS 111: Kelly Oubre Jr. hit a career high of nine of Charlotte’s franchise record 24 3-pointers and the Hornets hit it Road to Detroit.

Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges each had 19 points to help the Hornets beat the Pistons for the 14th consecutive year. Charlotte hasn’t lost to Detroit since October 18, 2017.

MAVERICKS 99, WARRIORS 82: Luka Doncic scored 26 points and Dallas celebrated before a ceremony to withdraw Dirk Nowitzki’s number by defeating cold shooting Stephen Curry and Golden State.

The Mavericks knew that the night belonged to their franchise icon and that Nowitzki’s No. 41 only went up after the game against the team with the best record in the NBA.

TIMBERWOLVES 98 , THUNDER 90: Karl-Anthony Towns had 17 points and 16 rebounds while D’Angelo Russell struggled 3-of-12 when he returned to the Minnesota line-up against a visit to Oklahoma City.

Anthony Edwards scored 22 points for Minnesota, which was finally full for the first time since Edwards and Taurean Prince entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols on December 17th. The Timberwolves were hit hard by COVID-19 and had their preferred starting line-up for the first time in 10 games.

RAPTORS 117, BUCKS 111: Pascal Siakam scored 33 points, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. each had 22 points and the visit to Toronto beat the shorthanded Milwaukee.

The reigning NBA champions had to do without coach Mike Budenholzer after he entered the health and safety protocols of the NBA.

Milwaukee also played without Giannis Antetokounmpo, who because of a non-COVID-19 disease was canceled, as well as Grayson Allen, George Hill and Pat Connaughton, who entered the logs Wednesday.

TRAIL BLAZERS: Portland Guard Damian Lillard will miss the next three games due to a pelvic tendinopathy .

The Trail Blazers announced that Lillard will undergo further evaluation and consultation regarding the injury he has suffered since the Olympics n in Tokyo.

It was expected that Lillard would miss the game on Wednesday evening against the visit to Miami as well as the home games on Friday against Cleveland and on Sunday against Sacramento.

Pelicans: The pelicans have agreed to that star striker Zion Williamson can continue his rehabilitation after a broken foot outside of team headquarters.

David Griffin, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, said the club agreed that “to put Zion in the best Bringing position to be successful will rehabilitate himself outside of the team at this point so that he can concentrate on the task at hand. “

Williamson, who averaged 27 points on the team and last season was an All-Star, tried to return to training in mid-December after an injury that occurred over the summer. But imaging of his foot showed a setback and the club said at the time that Williamson would stop training and focus on healing.

The Pelicans have played 13-25 without Williamson this season but are only 2 1 / 2 games behind Sacramento to reach the final play-in place in the Western Conference.

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