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Nets’ Kyrie Irving sets multiple records in 54-point explosion vs. Bulls

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After Kyrie Irving went missing in action following the death of his friend and NBA legend Kobe Bryant, the point guard went back in uniform with an explosive dedication. On Friday night’s game against the Chicago Bulls, he broke several records after leading his team to a decisive win at 133-118.

His 54 points are now his new season-high, ahead of the notable 50 points back in opening night on October 23, which resulted in a 127-126 loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Nets star made all his ten shots in the first half and went an efficient 19-of-23 in the game. His four missed shots are the second-fewest in a 50-point performance, behind only to Wilt Chamberlain’s three back in 1967. Moreover, he became the 14th player to score 50+ points against the Bulls, and the first since Warriors guard Klay Thompson put up 52 and an NBA record 14 threes on October 2018.

Additionally, Irving’s performance also broke several other records. His 54 points is the most against Chicago since Jerry Stackhouse put up 57 back in the 2001 season. In addition to five rebounds and five assists, he is also only the second player with a 50-5-5 game against the Bulls after Lou Hudson in 1969.  His Nets teammates also contributed to the win, with point guard Spencer Dinwiddie chipping in 20 points off the bench, and Taurean Prince putting up 16.

Prior to Friday night, Irving notably did not play following the news of Kobe Bryant’s untimely passing, who was a close friend and a mentor to the Nets point guard. The six-time All-Star has another chance to dedicate a game to the Black Mamba when the Nets visit the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.