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NBA scores, news, results, Brooklyn Nets beat Charlotte Hornets, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons,

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The Nets closed out 2022 with the longest winning streak within the NBA.

They usually rung in 2023 with the look of a legitimate title contender — mainly because they’re specializing in today and never getting distracted by tomorrow.

The Nets cruised to a 123-106 victory over the Hornets on Saturday night at Spectrum Center. The victory ended a three-game, all-business trip. They dispatched the Hornets and headed straight to the airport, getting within the air roughly as Latest Yr’s Eve ended.

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“Really, my message to the group before the sport is let’s finish the yr off in the proper way. And that’s taking good care of [this] game,” coach Jacque Vaughn said.

“I’ll turn the page once we get to 2023 and fill you in on what the [New Year’s] resolution goes to be, but it surely’s really keeping this group within the now, playing today’s game, and let’s just win today’s game.”

Kyrie Irving starred again.Source: AFP

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Six Nets scored in double figures as they shot 60 per cent as a team. Either Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving had led them in scoring in all but one game this season, and Saturday was no exception.

Irving had a game-high 28 points and Durant posted 23, as all the time the fulcrum of the Nets’ success.

Ben Simmons had two points, two assists and three rebounds in 19 minutes as he battled an illness.

“Durant and Irving,” Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said beforehand. “They’ve got a bunch of expert veteran guys around them, so that they play very smart; but it surely all starts with those two guys.

“And you’ll be able to’t guard either one in every of them and not using a second defender, which is what NBA basketball is all about: Creating two to the ball. They’re an excellent high iso team. They play one-on-one loads. They’re great at it.

“Kyrie pick-and-rolls, you double team him, he crushes it. So although it appears like that’d be a sensible thing to do, he’s actually more efficient against double teams in some ways than he’s whenever you play traditional coverages. After which they’ve really good players around them, veteran guys, high IQ, they usually’re twiddling with great purpose. So that you’ve got to do all of it.

“You may’t allow them to rating fast-break points, you’ll be able to’t put them on the free throw line, you’ll be able to’t allow them to get second shots, they usually can’t be scoring cutting baskets. Because they’re so good at every little thing else, after they get those then it’s over.

“So there’s nothing they’re not good at. They’re good at every level. There’s no other team within the league without delay offensively near what they’re doing.”

Ben Simmons played just 19 minutes while coping with illness but did a robust job guarding LaMelo Ball.Source: AFP

Clifford knows of what he speaks. He spent last season as a Nets consultant and now has a rebuilding job on his hands with the Hornets (10-27).

LaMelo Ball had 23 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds for Charlotte. But with Kelly Oubre Jr. out, the Nets held the Hornets to 39.6 per cent shooting. Durant and Royce O’Neale smothered Gordon Hayward to 2 points on 1-for-6 shooting from the ground.

“Really [it’s about] where our focus and concentration level is, not looking ahead in any respect and benefiting from what’s in front of you — and that’s [this] game,” Vaughn said.

“So really looking forward to how our group approaches this game and the way we start the primary quarter, start the start of the sport.”

The Nets had the proper approach from the beginning. Irving found O’Neale for a 3-pointer and an 11-4 lead right out of the gate. The Nets were up, 32-22, after a primary quarter through which they shot 65.2 per cent and held Charlotte to 34.8 per cent.

Nic Claxton had 14 points, six boards, and tied a career-high with six blocks. He scored off a Durant feed to make it 57-42 with 1:30 left within the half, and his layup 54 seconds into the third quarter padded the advantage to 66-49.

The second of consecutive Yuta Watanabe left-corner 3-pointers gave the Nets a 97-79 cushion after three. It grew to 118-96 on an Irving 3 with 4 minutes left, and the Nets cruised to their fifteenth win in 16 games.

— Via NY Post

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