Celtics prepare for War­riors by win­ning their 13th in a row

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BASKETBALL -

Kyrie Irv­ing re­turned to the lineup and scored 25 points while wear­ing a mask, and the Celtics beat the Nets 109-102 in Brook­lyn on Tues­day night for their 13th straight vic­tory.

The Celtics, un­beaten since an 0-2 start, head into a matchup Thurs­day in Bos­ton against the War­riors, win­ners of seven in a row.

“It’s def­i­nitely an in­cred­i­ble streak we’re on, and now comes the whole me­dia frenzy of will the streak end, and what’s go­ing to hap­pen on Thurs­day and the Golden State War­riors com­ing to Bos­ton,” Irv­ing said. “So I’m look­ing for­ward to all that hoopla.”

Mar­cus Morris added 21 points and 10 re­bounds, and Jayson Ta­tum scored 19 for the Celtics, who have the NBA’s best record. Golden State is next at 11-3, and Bos­ton got good prepa­ra­tion for the game against a per­sis­tent Brook­lyn team.

“The way that they con­verted on us in tran­si­tion af­ter our mis­takes tonight, you can’t have that against Golden State. You just get blown out of the gym,” Bos­ton head coach Brad Stevens said. “We just have to play re­ally solid on both ends and do what we do as well as we can and see where we stand.”

Irv­ing missed one game with a fa­cial frac­ture af­ter he was hit by team­mate Aron Baynes on Fri­day. Irv­ing fid­dled with the mask fre­quently, but it didn’t seem to af­fect his play. He made a jumper with 3:40 left af­ter the Nets had cut the deficit to four and drove for an­other bas­ket 35 sec­onds later.

“To­day, just find­ing his way and do­ing what he does, mak­ing big plays for us, com­ing through and seal­ing the game,” said Bos­ton’s Al Hor­ford, who had 17 points and 11 re­bounds.

Bos­ton put it away with Jaylen Brown’s al­ley-oop feed to Ta­tum be­fore Irv­ing hit two free throws to make it 106-96.

Joe Har­ris scored 19 points and Ron­dae Hol­lis-Jef­fer­son had 16 points and nine re­bounds for the Nets, who are with­out lead­ing scorer D’An­gelo Rus­sell (bruised left knee). Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert added 15 points apiece.

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