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Nets’ Kyrie Irving looks ahead to showdown with Knicks after 45-point night

Kyrie Irving, Nets, Knicks

Kyrie Irving was absolutely cooking for the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, as he led his team to a tightly contested 121-111 overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons. The one-time NBA champ logged a game-high 45 points (15-of-30 from the floor, 10-of-10 from the line), five triples, six rebounds, seven assists, and just a single turnover in 40 minutes of play. He also took part in a heartwarming moment with some fans after the game.

Following his impressive performance, Irving was quick to transition toward the Nets’ next game — a feisty matchup against the New York Knicks on the second night of a back-to-back set on Sunday. Irving is excited for the game:

“Get as much rest as we can. Take care of our bodies in the morning time. Just come ready to play,” Irving said, via Greg Joyce of the New York Post. “Obviously, we know they know that they play pretty different at home. Still, its Brooklyn versus New York. And we understand that. It’s going to be a pretty uptempo game.

“The crowd is going to get into it. You look forward to that.”

This will be Irving’s first encounter with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden ever since he shunned them to join the Nets in the summer. As he said above, he fully anticipates the animosity from the home crowd at MSG, and for him, this is actually something he is feeling excited about.

Kyrie Irving is trying to find his groove again for the Nets since returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a shoulder injury. In his six games since his return, the six-time All-Star has averaged 24.8 points (on 49.6 percent shooting), 5.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.8 steals while also knocking down 2.5 3-pointers per game on a 46.9 percent clip. He has been a bit inconsistent, though, and Brooklyn has struggled to rack up victories.

The Nets sit at 19-25 on the season, which is good for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.