Kyrie Irving Says Nets' Loss to 76ers 'Just a Fun Game Overall'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 14, 2021

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 14: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets controls the ball against Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on April 14, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets nearly overcame a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit before eventually falling to the host Philadelphia 76ers 123-117 on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center.

Irving, who scored 23 first-half points en route to 37 on the night, spoke with reporters postgame about the entertaining contest between two teams that were tied atop the Eastern Conference heading into the evening.

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"Just a fun game overall"<br><br>Kyrie Irving reflects on tonight's matchup with Philadelphia pic.twitter.com/5k1GnOqCQv

"They just played their hearts out. It's all you can ask, coming out here to play the game that we all love. So, just to go out there and compete. You know, I'm sure they were chomping at the bit, especially to get that win down the stretch for us. And I feel like they grew as a group. We grew as a team. They learned some things out there playing against a high-level playoff team that we can potentially see down the line, so it was a fun game overall."

The Nets were down 112-90 in the fourth quarter despite Irving scoring 37 points up until that juncture.

Irving's teammates dominated from there, as the Nets went on a 21-2 run to cut the lead to three. The Nets' young lineup during that entire run consisted of Alize Johnson, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet and Nic Claxton.

The Nets cut the 76ers' lead to three points on three separate occasions late in the fourth quarter, but Philadelphia was able to make it a two-possession game each time in response.

Brooklyn impressively hung with the 76ers despite playing without James Harden, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin due to injury and/or rest.

Philadelphia now leads Brooklyn by a full game in the race for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed. The Nets will look to get back into the win column at home Friday against the Charlotte Hornets.