Kyrie Irving uses 'Mamba mentality' to score season-high 54 points for Nets
Kyrie Irving put his stunning performance against the Chicago Bulls down to having a "Kobe mentality" after he scored a season-high 54 points on Friday.
The point guard made 19 of his 23 shot attempts in the Brooklyn Nets' 133-118 home victory - including hitting 10 in a row in the first half - as he surpassed his 50-point haul against the Minnesota Timberwolves back in October.
Irving revealed he was inspired by friend Kobe Bryant - who died in a helicopter crash last Sunday - after finishing with an astonishing 82.6 shooting percentage from the field.
He was also spurred on by the raucous support inside a sold-out Barclays Center, with chants of "MVP" from the crowd after the 27-year-old made a pair of free throws with just under four minutes remaining.
"I'm just happy to be back playing the game I love the most," Irving said in his on-court interview with YES Network.
"The most beautiful sound is just hearing these fans out here, having my family here, it just makes it all worth it
"The decision to come back home is well worth it. I'm cemented, I'm here, I'm grounded, I'm rooted. Just happy.
"I'm happy for my team-mates as well, they did a great job of giving me confidence. I hit a few shots in the first half and had to keep it going. The Kobe mentality, the Mamba mentality, is to keep going. It's all good."
Not your ordinary Friday night in Brooklyn. pic.twitter.com/nk7QNK5muU— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 1, 2020
Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 20 points off the bench while Taurean Prince, Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple also reached double figures for the Nets, who improved to 21-26 for the season.Published 01 Feb 2020, 17:10 IST