Nets creep back closer to .500 with 135-125 shootout win over Pelicans

Rick Laughland

Kyrie Irving netted 39 points, nine assists and four rebounds to power Brooklyn Nets to their third victory of the season. The Nets hold the NBA's second-highest scoring offense, trailing only the Houston Rockets in offensive firepower. 

The defense has been vastly improved although center DeAndre Jordan left the game with a sprained ankle. Kenny Atkinson and crew had no answers for Brandon Ingram as he went off for 40 points in the contest. 

The Pelicans notched a 48-point third quarter that saw them close the gap to single digits before creating distance in the fourth quarter. The Nets don't play again until Friday as they start a West Coast trip in Portland against the Trailblazers. 

The five-game Western swing sees stops in Portland, Phoenix, Utah, Denver, and Chicago before returning home to face Indiana on November 18. Fans will find out a great deal about this team that is still winless on the road so far this season. 

If Irving is going to shutdown the narrative that he is a locker room cancer and incapable of being the leader on the team, the Nets will need an above .500 road trip to validate signing the embattled floor general.