Irving accounted for 18 of the Nets' 43 baskets by himself - including a season-high eight 3-pointers - and shot 70 per cent from the field in the final quarter of Friday night's game in Salt Lake City.
He also had 11 rebounds and six assists, leading Brooklyn in both categories
"He (Irving) is just in a different world," Nets centre Nic Claxton said.
"He's locked in. He's in a different type of zone and he makes those big shots time and time again."
The win came a night after the Nets (28-17) lost to Phoenix to fall to 0-4 since Durant was sidelined by a knee injury almost two weeks ago.
"I put my body on the line and lead by example," Irving said.
"When I can get it going on the defensive end and do the little things, it really makes a difference for me and I'm dialled in."
Australian Ben Simmons had just six points on 3 of 7 shooting but added nine rebounds, five assists and two steals.
The Oklahoma Thunder's four-game winning streak came to an end despite another star turn from Shae Gilgeous-Alexander and another double-double from Australia's Josh Giddey.
The Thunder fell 118-113 to the Sacramento Kings.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 37 while posting his 26th game of 30 or more points this season. He also had seven assists.
Isaiah Joe matched his career high of seven 3-pointers for the second straight game while scoring 21 points for the Thunder, while Giddey had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
In Salt Lake City, defending champions Golden State rested Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins and still managed to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-114 as they poured in 23 3-pointers.
Jordan Poole was the only starter to face the Cavs and finished with 32 points.
The two-time reigning NBA MVP sat out due to hamstring tightness.
Murray had 17 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
Australian Josh Green added a further 12 points for Dallas.
Leonard put on a show on the court where he won NBA Finals MVP in 2014 with the Spurs.
He was 13 for 18 from the field and 4 for 5 on 3-pointers while adding seven assists, four rebounds and two steals.
In other results, Atlanta beat New York 139-124, Orlando defeated New Orleans 123-110 and Los Angeles Lakers downed Memphis 122-121.