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Kyrie Irving gets choked up addressing Nets fans, scores 50 but misses game-winner in Brooklyn debut (video)

Minnesota Timberwolves v Brooklyn Nets

BROOKLYN, NY - OCTOBER 23: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets smiles after hitting three point basket against the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 23, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving – who grew up in New Jersey and signed with the Brooklyn Nets this summer – emphasized the personal importance of going home.

He showed it all night.

Irving got choked up while addressing the Brooklyn crowd before Wednesday’s opener against the Timberwolves:

Then, he scored 50 points with eight rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers – an unmatched stat line in the Basketball-Reference database (which goes back to 1983-84).

Irving’s 50 points broke the scoring record for a player’s debut with a team. The most points in someone’s first game with a new team:

  • Kyrie Irving: 50 (2019 Brooklyn Nets)
  • Kiki VanDeWeghe: 47 (1984 Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Wilt Chamberlain: 43 (1959 Philadelphia Warriors)

However, Brooklyn lost 127-126 in overtime when Irving missed a game-winner. Still, even getting off this attempt after falling was incredible:

Despite the loss, this was a fantastic performance by Irving. He dazzled with his ball-handling and shooting:

Irving joins a short list of players who’ve scored 50 points in a season opener:

  • Kyrie Irving: 50 (2019 Brooklyn Nets)
  • Anthony Davis: 50 (2016 New Orleans Pelicans)
  • Michael Jordan: 54 (1989 Chicago Bulls)
  • Michael Jordan: 50 (1986 Chicago Bulls)
  • Wilt Chamberlain: 56 (1962 San Francisco Warriors)
  • Elgin Baylor: 52 (1959 Minneapolis Lakers)

Karl-Anthony Towns (36 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, three steals) led Minnesota. That’s a big reason the Timberwolves overcame a rough, but all-too-typical, night from Andrew Wiggins (21 points on 27 shots, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, -21 in 36 minutes).