BROOKLYN — Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving showed a glimpse of what is to come in Brooklyn as the Nets dominated the Golden State Warriors 125-99 to get the 2020-21 NBA season underway on Tuesday night. Complete Box Score
Brooklyn Nets Dominated Early
Brooklyn, which scored 40 points in the first quarter and led by as many as 38 points in the fourth quarter, played with a lot of energy throughout the contest, even without the fans inside the Barclays Center, much to the delight of first-year head coach Steve Nash.
Brooklyn blew the game wide open early and led 63-45 at halftime.
Irving scored 24 of his 26 points in the first half to lead the way for the Nets. The All-Star point guard shot 10 of 16 from the field and 4 of 7 from long-range, while adding four rebounds and four assists.
“I think our goals are a lot higher this year and we just want to be able to come in and dominate and do that consistently,” Irving said.
Durant Showed No Emotions Against Former Team
Durant scored 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting to go with five rebounds, three steals, and three assists and Caris LeVert ended with 18 points, eight boards, four assists, and two steals for Brooklyn, which shot 45.7% (42-92) and made 15 shots from 3-pointers.
“It felt good to be back and it’s good to get a win,” Durant, who missed over 561 days due to injury, said after the game.
Durant, who was playing his first official game for the Nets since rupturing his Achilles tendon during his tenor with Golden State in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, seemed relaxed against his former team.
“I tried not to make too big a deal out of this whole thing and realize I’ve been playing this game since I was 8 years old, so just got to revert back to what I know,” Durant said.
Curry Struggled, Wiseman Arrived!
Stephen Curry paced Golden State with 20 points but shot just 7 for 21 from the floor. He also had 10 assists, four rebounds, and two steals in the defeat.
James Wiseman, who was the No. 2 overall pick for Golden State in the NBA draft this year, was handed a starting place for the Warriors, despite missing the entire preseason fixtures.
The 19-year-old is the youngest player to start for Golden State since Joe Smith in the 1970-71 season.
Wiseman played 22 minutes and scored 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting with six rebounds and two steals, while Andrew Wiggins finished with 13 points (4-16) in the loss for the travelers, who shot 37.2% on 35-of-94 made shots.
“Both Kevin and Kyrie just kind of had their way in the first half,” a disappointed Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “So the lack of physicality and competition were the most disappointing things.”
Golden State was without the free-scoring guard Klay Thompson, who will miss the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon in November.
Also missing the game for the Warriors was influential forward Draymond Green, who was held out because of a foot injury. Golden State is hoping to have him back in the lineup for the Christmas Day clash at the Milwaukee Bucks.
Brooklyn travels to the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day.
Golden State faces the Bucks, also on Christmas Day.