Ben Simmons said it would take time to get back to his best and the Australian looks like he is heading down the right path, as is his Brooklyn side who enjoyed a 112-98 win in Toronto.
Simmons' recovery from a back injury and mental health issues has seen him extend his time on court and numbers.
The Australian featured for 32 and a half minutes, 18 seconds less than superstar Kevin Durant, and contributed 14 points, two rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks to help the Nets improve to a 9-10 record on Wednesday night.
"That's what we want him to do," Simmons said of Irving.
"Just be himself, have that confidence to come out and take those shots and be who he is. He's an incredible player, incredible teammate."
Brooklyn have won three of four, including two of three since Irving returned from a suspension for tweeting a link to an anti-Semitic film.
Nic Claxton had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Durant 12 points to place 18th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Durant scored his 26,074th career point in the third quarter, passing Kevin Garnett (26,071).
In Oklahoma City, Aussie Josh Giddey had 12 points, four rebounds and six assists in the Thunder's 131-126 overtime loss to Denver.
DeMar DeRozan's 36 points and eight assists steered Chicago to a 118-113 win at Milwaukee.
The Bulls began the week with a 6-10 record but have now beaten the NBA's top two teams, ending Boston's nine-game winning streak on Monday.
Luka Doncic scored 42 points for the Mavericks, who had beaten the Celtics four straight times.
But the Slovenian wasn't able to keep this one close with the hosts leading by as many as 27 points in the third quarter.