Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving scored 25 points in the first half of Wednesday’s season opener with Minnesota. Irving hit 32 points in the third quarter to give him a franchise record for points scored in an NBA debut. When it was all said and done, Irving would hit 50, one of just seven 50-point games in Nets history. Unfortunately, Irving’s last shot would not fall and Brooklyn lost to the Timberwolves 127-126 in overtime.
The newest Net – Irving was acquired last offseason from Boston – hit 17-of-33 shots from the field including 7-of-14 from 3-point range and 9-of-10 free throws. Irving was hot and he contributed in other facets of the game. He ended the game with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Irving’s 50-point outburst was the first in Brooklyn since Deron Williams did it back in 2012. Irving’s feat was also an NBA record for points scored in a debut for any NBA team. Previously, Kiki Vandeweghe held the mark at 47 points, which he did back in 1984.
Anthony Davis, now a Laker, was the most recent player to hit the 50-point mark in a season opener. Only five players have ever scored 50 points or more in a season opener in NBA history. Michael Jordan did it twice scoring 50 in 1986 and 54 in 1989. The record for most points in a season opener is held by the great Wilt Chamberlain who poured in 56 points in the 1962 San Francisco Warriors’ season opener.
The Nets couldn’t overcome 36 points and 14 rebounds by Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns. Brooklyn also turned the ball over 16 times. The Nets are back in action Friday night when they face their city rival, the New York Knicks.