Kyrie Irving scored 26 points as the Brooklyn Nets started quickly and made enough plays down the stretch for a 121-104 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night in New York.
After scoring 21 of his 32 points in the fourth of Saturday’s 122-115 win over the Knicks, Irving scored five points in the final quarter. He hit a hook shot and a contested corner 3-pointer that gave the Nets a 116-102 lead with two minutes left and sealed it.
Cam Thomas capitalized on extended playing time at guard due to the absences of Ben Simmons (left knee) and T.J. Warren (left shin) and added 21 as the Nets shot 47.4 percent and hit 16 3s. Patty Mills also finished with 21 points as he and Thomas combined to shoot 15 of 25 and hit eight 3s.
The Lakers were without Anthony Davis (right foot) and LeBron James (sore left ankle) along with Austin Reeves (left hamstring strain). Before the game, Los Angeles coach Darvin Ham said James has some significant soreness and would be evaluated Tuesday before facing the Knicks that night.
Thomas Bryant led the Lakers with 18 points and Russell Westbrook added 17. Rui Hachimura contributed 16, but LA’s starting backcourt of Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder were a combined 3 of 23 from the floor. The Lakers lost for the seventh time in 11 games, shot 39.3 percent and missed 14 of their 37 free-throw tries.
After leading by 19 early in the second quarter and holding a 58-46 lead by halftime, the Nets gave up the first 14 points of the third as the Lakers briefly took the lead on a 3-pointer by Schroder with nine minutes left. Wenyen Gabriel scored nine straight Lakers points as Los Angeles took a 79-73 lead on his hook shot with 3:20 left, but the Nets scored the final 10 points of the quarter and took an 85-82 lead into the fourth.
Mills and Thomas hit 3s on consecutive possessions early in the fourth as the Nets opened a 93-85 lead with 10:02 left. The lead expanded to 100-87 on Thomas’ 3-point play nearly two minutes later, and Irving clinched it shortly after Westbrook cut the lead to 106-99 with 5:10 left.