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The reason Kyrie Irving smiled during Collin Sexton’s 42-point explosion over Nets

Collin Sexton, Kyrie Irving, Cavs, Nets

Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving made his return to the floor Wednesday night after a seven-game absence.

“Uncle Drew” was greeted by Collin Sexton and a hungry Cleveland Cavaliers team in his first game back. Sexton torched Irving and the Nets for 42 points in a double-overtime thriller, leading the Cavs to an improbable victory.

After so much time off, Irving played a career-high 48 minutes on the same night when he was honored by his former team. He could not help but show appreciation for the game, in spite of the end result:

“Two overtimes for my first game back?” Irving said, via Tom Withers of The Associated Press. “You gotta love NBA ball, though. I was smiling when Collin Sexton was making those shots.”

Sexton went nuts down the stretch. He had 20 points at the end of regulation and scored seven points in the first overtime period. But “Young Bull” erupted for 15 points in the second overtime, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Sexton could have even prolific in the period had he not gone just 1-for-4 from the charity stripe.

The spectacular outburst in the second overtime propelled the Cavs to a 12-point victory, and in turn, spoiled the new-look Nets’ debut.

For his part, Kyrie Irving also had quite the game. He scored 37 points on 15-for-28 shooting from the field, routinely creating space with his sensational handle.

Of course, Irving’s scoring exploits were all for naught. But Brooklyn’s new “Big 3” will have plenty of other chances to gel.