Kyrie Irving opted not to speak to the media Sunday, but his play spoke volumes. The Nets star joined some historic company by becoming only the ninth man in the exclusive 50/40/90 club.
With Kevin Durant and Steve Nash both among the first eight members, they gushed over their Nets compatriot.
“Kyrie was incredible this year. So efficient, such a talented player who just makes incredible shots every night. So, to be able to make those shots to create the space to take those shots, to convert at such an efficient rate, is incredible,” Nash said. “So, remarkable player, remarkable accomplishment and really proud that I can see it firsthand.”
Irving had 17 points and shot 3-of-3 from 3-point range. The latter performance from deep on the season’s final day put him in historic company.
The All-Star guard finished the regular season shooting 50.6 percent overall, 40.2 from behind the arc and 90.2 from the free throw line.
Nash (four times), Larry Bird (twice), Durant, Malcolm Brogdon, Stephen Curry, Dirk Nowitzki, Reggie Miller and Mark Price are the only men to have posted 50/40/90 seasons. Irving joined Curry (2015-16), Durant (2012-13), and Bird (in 1986-87 and 87-88) to have done it while averaging 25 points.
But Durant was more impressed with Irving’s accomplishment than his own.
“Well, I mean, phenomenal season from Ky. He’s a guy who can get it from anywhere on the floor at any time at that size is remarkable,” Durant said. “Point guards that get 50/40/90 is just so much more impressive to me seeing Ky, Steph, Steve do it.
“I’m sure there’s more, but those three stand out to me as small guys that get to the paint, from middie, from three, free throw line. They can do it all. So I’m very happy for Kyrie, and I’m sure this won’t be his last time.”
James Harden should be ready resume practice Tuesday, but there is a chance Joe Harris — who missed a third straight game with a left gluteal strain — may not practice at all this week.
“I think James will be fine. I think Joe might need a few days, I’m not really sure. I think it’s about monitoring the situation. But there’s a case where he may not practice the whole week,” Nash said. “But that’s OK.
“He’s played a lot of minutes this year and we want him to heal up as best he possibly can and kind of not have to chase this thing through the playoffs and have it linger. So, if we can resolve it I’d rather he resolves it than practice this week. He can follow along and rehab and that would make me happy. But if he’s able to practice I’m sure he will.”
Nash had no update on Spencer Dinwiddie, still rehabbing in Los Angeles.
Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, both traded in the Harden deal, got video tributes and cheers from the fans.
The Nets (48-24) finished 24 games above .500, the highest they’ve ever been above .500 at any point in any season.
With the regular season over, Harris won his second 3-point shooting crown. He finished at 47.5 percent, just a tick ahead of Marcus Morris Sr’s 47.3.