NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 30: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets dribbles as Patrick Beverley #21 and Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers defend during the second half at Barclays Center on January 30, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Nets won 121-104. 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. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

NETS 121 – LAKERS 104

Kyrie Irving posted 26 points, while Patty Mills and Cam Thomas each contributed 21 points off the bench as the Brooklyn Nets swatted the LeBron-less Los Angeles Lakers 121-104 in Brooklyn, Tuesday night.  Brooklyn is now 4-6 in games without Kevin Durant as he nurses his way back from an MCL sprain.

“It’s nothing but joy in my eyes when I see them get rewarded for the hard work they’ve put in,” Irving said of Thomas and Mills. “It makes my job a lot easier.”

With the Lakers limping at mid-season, this wasn’t even close as the Nets built a lead of 19 at one point, and shot 47 percent from the floor to the Lakers 39 percent. As for James, he was on the far end of the bench getting a night off. The Lakers play again tonight against the Knicks at the Garden.

The win keeps Brooklyn on pace with the top of the Eastern Conference at 31-19.

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