Sport Kyrie Irving joins NBA's all-time 50-40-90 club to cap-off career year as Nets seal East's second seed
Steve Nash says it's 'not time to panic' as Brooklyn Nets drop fourth straight game and James Harden watch continues
The Brooklyn Nets have dropped four straight, prompting calming messaging out of the locker room. A fearsome roster when healthy, the title fancy at least has some legitimate concerns as the playoffs draw near.Falling short in a highly entertaining 113-109 decision to the Dallas Mavericks, it was the latest in a recent string of tight losses against playoff squads.
From a scoring perspective, Kyrie Irving had a relatively quiet game in the Nets season finale against the Cavaliers. However, it was enough to make NBA history.
The 6'2" guard joined the NBA's elite 50-40-90 club, becoming the ninth player ever and the first since Malcolm Brogdon in 2018-19 to achieve the feat of shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.
Kyrie Irving joins Larry Bird (1986-87, 1987-88), Stephen Curry (2015-16) and Kevin Durant (2012-13) as the only players to average 25 PPG in a 50-40-90 season
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In the comfortable 123-109 win for the Nets, Irving scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. He also finished this game with six rebounds, three steals, three blocks and two steals.
The perfect shooting from long range is what sealed it for Irving as he came into the final game with a 3-point efficiency of 39.2 percent.
His shooting splits for this season through 54 games - 50.6 percent from the field, 40.2 percent from 3-point range and 92.2 percent from the charity stripe - are all career-highs (tied in the case of his free-throw percentage).
'Kyrie (Irving) was incredible this year," said Nets head coach Steve Nash, who's recorded a 50-40-90 an NBA record four times, postgame. "So efficient. Such a talented player who just makes incredible shots every night."
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Irving exited the Nets' game against the Bulls in the third quarter after an inadvertent elbow from Nikola Vucevic.Irving collected an inadvertent elbow from Bulls big man Nikola Vucevic in the third quarter and did not return.
Steve Nash on Kyrie Irving joining the 50-40-90 club:
"Remarkable player, remarkable accomplishment, and really proud that I could see it first-hand"— Nets Videos (@SNYNets)
Irving's season average of 26.9 points, just shy of his career mark of 27.4,.
What's more impressive is that his 50.6 percent is while he is making a career-best 10.2 field goals per game. The same can be said for his long-range efficiency as his 40.2 percent comes while knocking down a career-high 2.8 3-pointers on a near career-best 7.0 attempts.
"Point guards that get 50/40/90 are just so much more impressive to me," said teammate Kevin Durant, who also achieved the 50-40-90 feat back in 2012-13, postgame. "Sure this won’t be his last time.”
Kevin Durant welcomes Kyrie Irving to the 50-40-90 club:
"Point guards that get 50-40-90 are just so much more impressive to me"— Nets Videos (@SNYNets)
With the win, the Nets wrap up the season with a 48-24 record - good for second in the Eastern Conference - and a 66.7 winning percentage which is their best since 2001-02.
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NBA Playoffs 2021: Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers series preview .
The Phoenix Suns were one of the best stories in the NBA this season, finishing with the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. They will face the defending champion Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, perhaps the scariest No. 7 seed in NBA history.The Lakers will now commence their title defence with a first-round matchup with the Phoenix Suns.