Kyrie Irving hits game-winner against Knicks just two days after missing final shot in Nets debut

Rick Laughland

Kyrie Irving didn't go for 50 like he did on Wednesday night, but he hit the crucial shot when it mattered most. Leading the way with 26 points, Irving wasn't nearly as efficient or hot from long range as he was in the team's opener, but his step back 3-pointer over R.J. Barrett with 22.4 seconds left gave the Nets a two point lead they wouldn't relinquish. 

Julius Randle lost the ball off his foot and Spencer Dinwiddie hit two free throws to ice the game and lift Brooklyn to a 113-109 victory. 

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Former Net Wayne Ellington caught fire and gave the Knicks their first lead since 2-0 on a 3-pointer with 3:56 remaining in the contest to give New York a 107-106 advantage. 

The Nets went ice cold from the field as they failed to score from the 7:46 to 4:07 mark of the fourth quarter. Each team turned the ball over 26 times in a sloppy affair at Barclays Center. The Nets led by as many as 19-points, but relinquished the lead in the fourth quarter before Irving and company took control in the final minutes. 

An emotional Irving took off his jersey and handed it to his father as the two embraced for a heartfelt hug postgame. Irving has scored 76 points in his first two games for the Nets and in doing so has set a new franchise mark. 

Brooklyn snuck away with a victory, but defensive breakdowns and countless turnovers almost caused them to open the season 0-2. The Nets will have Saturday off before they prepare for their first road contest of the 2019 campaign as they visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night. 

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