TheBoston Celtics’ early season win streak has been extended to 13 games after Kyrie Irving’s 25 points led the No. 1 seed past the Brooklyn Nets.
Returning from a face injury, Irving donned a mask to lead the way, with every Boston starter notching double digits in points.
The win sets up a blockbuster clash with the Golden State Warriors this Friday; who are on their own streak of seven straight wins.
Speaking on the Celtics before Friday’s game, Warriors coach Stever Kerr told reporters, “It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is amazing.”
Kerr added: “That looks like a team that is going to be at the top of the East for a long time to come. Whether their time is now or the future, that’s to be determined, but they sure look like they want it to be right now.”
With D’Angelo Russell out indefinitely with a knee injury and Jeremy Lin already sidelined for the season, also with a knee injury, the Nets were game, but woefully shorthanded. And all it took was one five-minute span of dysfunction against the scalding-hot Celtics to cost them in a tightly contested 109-102 affair.
Hearing Boston fans take over among the sellout crowd of 17,732 at Barclays Center was just salt in the Nets’ various wounds, and listening to them serenade New Jersey-bred Celtics star Kyrie Irving with chants of “MVP!” was an added insult. But to be fair, Irving looked the part, dominating while wearing a clear mask in his return from a facial fracture and then giving his shoes to some troops seated courtside.
“The guys competed. We just have to do it for longer stretches. The third quarter really got us,” said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, whose team briefly got up in isolation ball before promptly giving up a game-turning 19-2 run. “Really it was our offense. We turned the ball over four times, [went] 8-for-23 from the field, so credit them. They turned up their defense, and we couldn’t handle it. We didn’t handle it.”
After opening the season with two losses, Boston won its 13th straight win and kept the streak alive.