Brooklyn Nets

Shorthanded Nets, led by Kyrie Irving, deliver blow to Pelicans playoff chances with comeback victory

Trailing for nearly all of the first half, a shorthanded Nets squad rallied around Kyrie Irving in the second half to register a 134-129 comeback win in New Orleans.

Irving scored 24 of his 32 in the second half, including 15 (5-6 FGs) in the final quarter, as he responded with big shots every time the Pelicans looked like they were making a run late.

He was one of seven players to score in double figures as the Nets depended on their depth with their All-Stars James Harden and Kevin Durant not suiting up.

With the stardom present in the Nets locker room and the success they tasted, it's almost easy to forget that Irving is having a career-year with nearly a career-high scoring average and close to recording 50-40-90 shooting splits for the first time in his career.

For the Pelicans, this was a gut-wrenching loss. It's their 14th loss this season when leading by 10 points or more - the most in the NBA.

Zion Williamson (33 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Brandon Ingram (27 points, five assists) were the top contributors for the hosts, combining for 17 of the team's 37 fourth-quarter points, but neither could lead a late-game rally.

With this loss, their fourth straight, New Orleans slump to a record of 25-33 and are running out of time to make a run for the play-in spot in the West. They are now four games behind the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs for the 10th seed with only 14 games remaining.

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