Irving leads Celtics to win
Kyrie Irving scored 22 points before leaving the game in the final minutes nursing his right shoulder, Al Horford had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics coasted past the New York Knicks 128-100 on Thursday night.
Jaylen Brown returned after missing three games with a bruised lower back and scored a season-high 21 points. Jayson Tatum added 17 for Boston, which won its fourth straight game and exacted a bit of revenge for a Nov. 21 loss to the Knicks.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 for New York, which has lost four of its last five games. Enes Kanter had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Noah Vonleh had 12 and 10.
The Celtics scored the first three baskets of the game and never trailed. They led by eight after one, by 11 after two and by 15 points after scoring eight straight to make it 97-82 near the end of the third quarter. TIP-INS Knicks: Both teams shot better than 60 per cent in the first quarter, but the Knicks were just 8 for 26 in the second . ... Hardaway went down to the floor after taking an elbow from Marcus Morris Sr. in the head. The play was ruled a flagrant foul. Hardaway returned a few minutes later . ... Kanter had his seventh double-double in his last nine games.