Irving on historic Harden performance: Get used to it!

By Ben Spratt 2 March 2021 3
Irving on historic Harden performance: Get used to it!

Kyrie Irving warned James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets intend to keep on making history after the 2018 MVP turned in an unprecedented performance against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Nets, second in the East and now at 23-13, were taken to overtime at AT&T Center on Monday before prevailing 124-113.

Irving, returning from a back injury, put up 27 points, but team-mate Harden stole the show with his seventh triple-double of the season.

Only once – an astonishing 22 in 2016-17 – has Harden topped that mark across a whole season and he broke new ground in the process against the Spurs.

In posting 30 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds, the 31-year-old became the first player to have a 30-15-10 game without a single turnover since individual turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78.

Harden, who is averaging close to a triple-double with 25.3 points, 11.3 assists and 8.7 rebounds for the Nets, will not stop there, though, according to Irving, who plans to join his colleague in setting new benchmarks.

"We have to implement the phrase, 'Get used to it'," Irving said.

"When James is being James, it makes our job a lot easier. And so we've got to get used to somebody special like that, things like that in terms of breaking records.

"So, I can't wait to be right alongside of him, my name in Nets history – and all the guys on our team, where we're just breaking records as a team and then, individually, we're stacking up with some of the best to ever play."

Harden will be keen to maintain this standard for Brooklyn's next game when they visit the Houston Rockets, his former team.

The nine-time All-Star spent just over eight seasons in Houston, twice losing to eventual champions the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, but the goodwill towards Harden appeared to dissipate this year amid a messy departure.

His former Rockets team-mates fired some parting shots in the media, but Irving is determined there will be no issues on Wednesday.

"We're excited to play basketball, to go back to where James had a great career," he said. "We're looking forward to the experience, looking forward to having fun.

"It's going to be highly competitive, a lot of great players, no animosity on the court, just greatness on display.

"Everybody at home, enjoy the game, there will be no tension and no s***-talking going on, on the court or about James in my presence or anybody else's presence.

"We're coming to Houston to enjoy the game of basketball and play it at a high level on behalf of James and the rest of the guys, because we know it's a special night regardless."

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