Irving leads Celtics past Knicks 128-100
BOSTON — 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.
With about four minutes left in the game, Irving started rubbing his right shoulder and swinging it around while grimacing in pain. He raised his hand for coach Brad Stevens to take him out of the game but couldn't get his attention. He walked to the bench at the next whistle.
The shoulder was wrapped in ice when he walked off the court at the end of the game.
Knicks: Host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday
Celtics: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
Kyrie Irving #11 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball over Noah Vonleh #32 of the New York Knicks during the second half of an NBA basketball game at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on December 6, 2018.