Nets' Kyrie Irving, Nic Claxton Draw Rave Reviews on Twitter in Win over Knicks

Adam WellsJanuary 29, 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 26: Nic Claxton #33 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after making a basket against the Detroit Pistons during the game at Barclays Center on January 26, 2023 in New York City. 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 Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Kyrie Irving's stellar fourth quarter and a fantastic all-around game from Nic Claxton lifted the Brooklyn Nets to a 122-115 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday.

The first three quarters of this game didn't look great for Irving. He started out 6-of-16 from the field before making six of his final 11 shots. The eight-time All-Star dropped 21 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.


KYRIE Q4 TAKEOVER 🤯<br><br>He has 20 PTS in the quarter as the Nets lead by 8<br><br>28 seconds remain on ABC. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBARivalsWeek?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBARivalsWeek</a> <a href="https://t.co/VlkehkmzkI">pic.twitter.com/VlkehkmzkI</a>

This was the sixth straight game Irving has scored at least 30 points. He has made at least five three-pointers in four of those games.

Claxton almost finished with a triple-double after posting 13 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. The NBA leader with 2.7 blocks per game coming into today added three more to his total against the Knicks.

The 23-year-old's streak of five consecutive games with at least 20 points did come to an end, but he has now posted a double-double in each of the last four games.

Fans and analysts on Twitter had high praise for the Nets' duo of Irving and Claxton after their dazzling performances:

Dani 💙♍ @DaniBlue917

Not only is Nic Claxton The DPOY he's the MIP 😎

🎓 runnin'💛 @busyxb

send nic claxton to the all star game and vote for him as nba most improved player

Alec Sturm @Alec_Sturm

You would not have seen even that kind of finish through contact from Nic Claxton from Ben Simmons.

16th Roster Spot @16thRosterSpot

I'm so glad that Nic Claxton found a way to be impactful on offense quickly. His defense always been there, but those back-to-the-basket shots, somewhat of a hook shot, and the dunker spot role he's playing are great to see

StatMuse @statmuse

Kyrie Irving tonight:<br><br>32 PTS (21 in the 4th)<br>6 REB<br>9 AST<br>5 3PM<br><br>Averaging 36.3 PPG in his last 6 games. <a href="https://t.co/eEHxYHrWGU">pic.twitter.com/eEHxYHrWGU</a>

Kendrick Perkins @KendrickPerkins

That was a Magical Performance by Kyrie Irving!!!! That was his most impressive game this season. Don't mind me tho and Carry the hell on…

Andy Bailey @AndrewDBailey

Hyper-specific, but...<br><br>...Brooklyn is -2.0 points per 100 possessions when Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons play without Kevin Durant...<br><br>...and...<br><br>...+8.7 when Kyrie plays without both of Simmons and Durant.

Bob Sacamano @BobSacamano_5

I've been as critical of him on/off the court as anyone, but Kyrie Irving is saving Sean Marks ass right now. This Nets team has big holes but Kyrie is covering them all up and then some. Just absolutely insane play by the kid from Jersey who grew up a Nets fan.

Khai 🎧🎶 @khaisview

Nic Claxton been HOOPING

They Want Me Dead Like Pac @KingMosesDaGod

Knicks players when trying to guard Kyrie Irving <a href="https://t.co/v707rfp2hP">pic.twitter.com/v707rfp2hP</a>

Since Kevin Durant went down with a knee injury, the Nets have been scuffling with six losses in their previous eight games. Their last game was an eight-point loss to the Detroit Pistons on Thursday.

Irving's ability to turn things around in games is one of the biggest reasons he's arguably the best scoring guard in the NBA. He showed that skill in this game when the Nets needed it the most.

While most of the focus in Brooklyn over the past four seasons has, understandably, been around Irving and Kevin Durant, Claxton has been a much-needed developmental success story.

The No. 31 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Claxton barely played as a rookie and had a shoulder injury that required surgery. He got into 32 games during the 2020-21 season, but was still fighting for playing time behind DeAndre Jordan.

After carving out a larger role last season, Claxton has been elevated into the starting lineup this season. He's averaging career-highs across the board, including leading the NBA in field-goal percentage (74.7). That total increased from 74.3 after he made all six of his shot attempts against the Knicks.

When the Nets get Durant back with Irving and Claxton, they have all of the pieces in place to be the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.