Irving helps Celtics extend roll to 13
NEW YORK (TNS) — The Brooklyn Nets were done in Tuesday night by The Man Behind The Mask.
Kyrie Irving, wearing a mask to protect a small fracture beneath his right eye, scored seven points and made a key steal in the final four minutes as the Boston Celtics held off the Nets, 109-102, before a Barclays Center crowd that was surprisingly Boston-flavored. It was the Celtics’ 13th consecutive win.
The Nets played Boston tough and were within 95-91 when Allen Crabbe made a 3-pointer with 4:04 to play. Irving answered with baskets on consecutive Boston possessions. He made a key steal after the Nets’ Trevor Booker got an offensive rebound in a six-point game with one minute to play, and it ended up in a Jayson Tatum dunk on the other end. Irving also made 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch.
The Nets (5-9) have lost seven of nine.
Joe Harris had 19 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Caris LeVert and Crabbe each scored 15 for the Nets. Spencer Dinwiddie, starting at point guard because D’Angelo Russell is out with a knee contusion, had 12 points and 11 assists.
Irving’s mask may have had something to do with his shooting 8 for 20, but he had 25 points and five assists. Marcus Morris had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Tatum had 19 points and Al Horford had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics (13-2).