Irving scores 50 but misses last shot, Wolves top Nets in OT
NEW YORK — Kyrie Irving scored 50 points in a record-setting Nets debut, but lost his balance and missed a potential winning shot that allowed the Minnesota Timberwolves to pull out a 127-126 victory over Brooklyn in overtime Wednesday night (Thursday morning, October 24, 2019, Philippine time).
Karl-Anthony Towns had 36 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, and Andrew Wiggins finished with 21 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:19 remaining.
Following a Nets timeout, Irving had the ball in his hands with a chance to cap his dazzling debut with a victory. He ran the clock down and then began his drive, but lost his balance near the foul line. He retained his dribble, got up and shot, but his jumper missed. He then fell back onto the court, laying on his back in disbelief.
After signing with the Nets during the summer, Irving broke Kiki Vandeweghe’s record for most points by a player in his first game with a team. Vandeweghe scored 47 for Portland at Kansas City on Oct. 27, 1984.
Irving finished with eight rebounds and seven assists. Caris LeVert added 20 points.
Irving signed along with Kevin Durant in July, wanting to come back home after growing up in New Jersey. He had to pause during his remarks to the crowd before the game but had no trouble keeping his composure — but ultimately not his footing — once it started, making seven 3-pointers as the Nets tried desperately to win a season opener for the first time in seven years.
But Brooklyn didn’t have many answers for Towns, who also made seven 3s. Then in OT it was Wiggins, who shot only 10 for 27 but made two straight baskets after the Nets took a 124-123 lead.
Irving sandwiched two 3-pointers around three free throws in just over a minute late in regulation, and with the game tied found a cutting Jarrett Allen in the lane. Allen was fouled but missed both free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining, and the game went to overtime when Wiggins missed a long jumper at the buzzer.
Early on it was all Minnesota as it started its first full season under coach Ryan Saunders. The Wolves led 20-19 in the first quarter before breaking it open with an 18-3 run that lasted into the second and expanded their lead to 38-22. It would increase to 46-28 and Minnesota took a 68-56 advantage into halftime.
But the Nets outscored the Wolves 37-20 in the third and it was close from there.
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