Skip to main content

"I wish we had a day of rest at least" -- Kyrie Irving's return to Barclays spoiled by the Hornets

Despite the loss to the Hornets, Kyrie Irving's return to Barclays Center was all about celebration
The Charlotte Hornets spoiled Kyrie Irving's return to Barclays Center

Kyrie Irving makes his season debut at Barclays Center

Kyrie Irving finally made his home debut Sunday night. But the game against the Charlotte Hornets didn't go as planned.

"Not the result we wanted," Irving said. "I didn't shoot as well as I wanted. Basically none of the things I had hoped for going well tonight just didn't happen, and that's just the flow of basketball."

Led by LaMelo Ball -- 33 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists -- the Hornets beat Brooklyn 119-110, spoiling Irving's first game back at the sold-out Barclays Center. Kyrie put up 16 points and 11 assists, but only shot 6-for-22 from the floor in 41 minutes of action. 

“I wish we had a day of rest at least”

The Nets failed to build off of momentum gained from a win against the second-seeded Miami Heat on Saturday. They have now dropped to No.9 in the East, without a tie-breaker against the eight-seeded Hornets.

“I wish we had a day of rest at least.”

Kyrie Irving

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

This was only the second time this season Kyrie played in back-to-backs. But having only played 21 games heading into yesterday's matchup, no one expected him to play the fatigue card. 

However, early shooting struggles indicate Kyrie couldn't keep fresh legs. The same goes for the rest of the Nets, who, as a team, only shot 7-for-34 from the three-point line. The Hornets, on the other hand, hit 17 of their 32 long-range attempts, securing their 36th win with seven games left in the regular season.

Historic night at Barclays

Despite the loss, Irving's return was all about celebration. The largest crowd in the facility's history welcomed him with a standing ovation during the starting lineup introduction, and Kyrie acknowledged their reception by pointing around the arena right before the tip-off. 

"I was just trying to ground myself as much as possible today," Kyrie said. "And just prepare for the warm reception from a lot of supporters of the organization, of me, just the journey thus far. So I don't take it for granted what happened tonight; it was historic. I'm grateful I got a chance to be out there with my brothers and just leave it all out there."

The fact Kyrie had nothing left in the tank should worry the Nets fans. However, with seven games left in the regular season, five of which are against teams below or at the .500 mark, there's enough time for Irving to get in game shape and be 100% come playoff time.

If and when the Nets get there, anything is possible. 

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo defends Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles

“It seems like it’ll be very easy” — Joe Ingles is looking forward to sharing the floor with Giannis Antetokounmpo

Joe Ingles is excited to be in Milwaukee, touches upon rehab process and his teammates.

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan

“It ain't like I'm 48” - Demar DeRozan on defying Father Time and trying to replicate a spectacular season

After a spectacular showing for the Chicago Bulls last season, DeMar DeRozan is ready for an encore this season.

Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams

Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams details how he went through "hell" in summer workouts — “The workout starts at 5 am!”

The Chicago Bulls sophomore went through a brutal offseason workout with teammate DeMar DeRozan.

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose dunks the ball against Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic

“This is my nightmare” - Goran Dragic on Derrick Rose's vicious dunk 12 years ago

Dragic has a sense of humor about one of the most memorable dunks in NBA history - “At least I'm on TV all the time.”

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso

“The NBA told me I couldn’t” — Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso wasn't allowed to switch jersey number

Caruso wanted to honor Bill Russell, but the NBA had a surprising reason not to allow the switch.