Celtics ex­tend win streak to 13; War­riors up next

The Maui News - - SPORTS - By BRIAN MA­HONEY

NEW YORK — Kyrie Irv­ing re­ally dis­likes hav­ing to play in a mask.

On the other hand, he loves what comes next: Bos­ton putting its 13-game win­ning streak on the line against the NBA cham­pi­ons.

“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.”

Irv­ing re­turned to the lineup and scored 25 points while wear­ing the mask, and the Celtics beat the Brook­lyn Nets 109-102 on Tues­day to re­main un­beaten since an 0-2 start.

Mar­cus Morris added 21 points and 10 re­bounds, and Jayson Ta­tum scored 19 points for the Celtics, who have the NBA’s best record. Golden State is next at 11-3.

Irv­ing missed one game with a mi­nor fa­cial frac­ture af­ter he was hit by team­mate Aron Baynes on Fri­day. He fid­dled with the mask fre­quently Tues­day, but it didn’t seem to af­fect his play much. He made a jumper with 3 min­utes, 40 sec­onds left af­ter the Nets had closed within four points and drove for an­other bas­ket about 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 Celtics cen­ter Al Hor­ford, who had 17 points and 11 re­bounds.

Bos­ton then fi­nally 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.

“I thought guys com­peted,” Nets coach Kenny Atkin­son said. “We just have to do it in long stretches.”

AP photo

Kyrie Irv­ing of the Celtics looks to pass Tues­day.

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