NBA: Durant, Irving lead hot Nets into Charlotte

Kevin Durant has scored 51 points while Kyrie Irving has 63 points over the first two games of the Brooklyn Nets' NBA season.
Kevin Durant has scored 51 points while Kyrie Irving has 63 points over the first two games of the Brooklyn Nets' NBA season.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Through two games, the pairing of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving is off to a dazzling start for the Brooklyn Nets.

Coming off two blowout victories, the Nets attempt to remain unbeaten this National Basketball Association (NBA) season on Sunday (Dec 27) night when they visit the Charlotte Hornets.

The Nets are seeking their third 3-0 start in team history and first since 2002-03, when they last made the NBA Finals.

The Nets are also trying to score at least 120 points in the first three games of a season for the first time in franchise history.

Durant has scored 51 points on 50 per cent shooting (16 of 32), while Irving has 63 points on 62.2 per cent shooting (23 of 37), including 11 3-pointers.

"Pretty much the moment they got here, this is the talent they've displayed, and even now, late in their careers, they continue to get better," Brooklyn forward Joe Harris said.

"I think it's a testament really to the work they put in every day. These guys are superstar players. They work as hard as anybody I've been around. They kind of carry the torch for the rest of the team in that way."

In Tuesday's 125-99 rout of Golden State, the duo combined for 48 points.

The pairing was even more productive in Boston on Friday, when the Nets dominated the second half of a 123-95 win.

Irving, 28, scored 37 points and Durant, 32, added 29 when Brooklyn outscored the Celtics 72-41 in the second half.

Durant was particularly effective when the Nets took control in the third quarter.

He scored 16 in the third, including nine straight when Brooklyn seized the lead for good.

Besides the impressive numbers from Irving and Durant, the Nets have produced their blowouts by displaying stout defence and are the first team since the 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers to win their first two games by at least 20 points each.

They held Boston to 37.8 per cent shooting, including 29.6 from three-point range, after limiting Golden State to 37.4 per cent from the floor.

Charlotte is off to a 0-2 start for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

Brooklyn won three of four meetings last season, including a 115-86 win in Charlotte on Feb 22.