Kevin Durant’s epic 43-point effort and Kyrie Irving’s first game-winning buzzer-beater of his NBA career for the surging Brooklyn Nets were not enough to get them the NBA Player of the Week honors.
The weekly honors belonged to Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell.
Mitchell led the Cavaliers to a 3-1 record, barely losing to the San Antonio Spurs, 112-111, at the start of last week. The newest Cleveland star, who came from Utah Jazz via a blockbuster trade in the offseason averaged 32.0 points 3.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 53.9 percent from the field and 42.5 percent the 3-point zone last week.
The Nets, meanwhile, were unbeaten last week, part of a season-high six-game winning streak, with Durant and Irving alternately bailing them out.
Durant averaged 33.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists, with a steal and a block during the Nets’ 3-0 run against lowly teams Wizards, Raptors, and Pistons. They barely won the last two games, needing Durant’s 43 points to outlast the Pistons.
On the other hand, Irving normed 31.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists while hitting 53.2 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from deep. His three-pointer at the buzzer against the Raptors capped a 17-point comeback for the Nets.
The other Eastern Conference players considered for the weekly honors were Magic’s top rookie Paolo Banchero, Knicks’ 1-2 punch Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, and Heat’s Tyler Herro.
Durant has already won the award twice this season.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo