Kyrie, Celtics defeat Knicks 121-112

Kyrie, Celtics defeat Knicks 121-112

Kyrie Irving on the court can be a lot of trouble, messed around and (almost) had a triple-double.

The Celtics all-star, no stranger to big performances on big stages, delivered one of his best all-around performances for Boston.

And did they ever need it, holding on for a 121-112 win over the pesky New York Knicks.

Irving was as dominant as we’ve seen him this season, finishing with 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Boston also got a strong game from Jaylen Brown who tallied 24 points which included a breakaway dunk to put Boston up 115-106 with less than two minutes to play.

And New York was led by Trey Burke’s 26 points.

After having lost three straight and four of five, Boston (42-19) has come out of the all-star break with back-to-back wins over Detroit and New York, respectively.

While there are certainly tougher foes on the horizon for the Celtics than what they’ve seen in these last two games (both wins), beating teams they’re supposed to is part of the process in getting back to where they were earlier this season.

But tonight’s game, like so many for the Celtics, didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts.

Boston avoided the early hole that they frequently found themselves in prior to the all-star break, but they didn’t exactly surge away and take control of the game from the jump, either.

Boston spent most of the first quarter playing with a slim lead, only for New York to end the quarter with a 5-0 spurt that put the Knicks ahead 24-23 after the first.

The second quarter was more of the same with both teams going on runs to seemingly take control, only for the lead to eventually disappear.

Trailing 49-48, Boston closed out the quarter with an 11-5 run to lead 59-54 at the half.

In the third, it was all about Irving who mixed in an array of 3’s and drives to the basket which helped the Celtics pull ahead by double-digits only for the Knicks to chip away at the lead which stood at 88-81 going into the fourth.


Isaiah Thomas isn't ruling out return to Celtics

File Photo

Isaiah Thomas isn't ruling out return to Celtics

Isaiah Thomas back in green? Maybe there's a chance after all.

The former Celtics guard, now with the Lakers, started a Q&A session on Twitter and was asked whether he'd consider returning to Boston this offseason. This was his answer...

That's not a no.

Thomas has had a rough go of it since leaving the Celtics. His brief tenure in Cleveland didn't go according to plan, and things haven't gotten a whole lot better out in L.A. The 29-year-old is averaging 15.3 points per game just a year after averaging 28.9 with Boston.

Let the speculation begin.


Horford not making any excuses after C's rough outing vs Pelicans

Horford not making any excuses after C's rough outing vs Pelicans

Al Horford understands that there’s plenty of blame pie to go around following Boston’s 108-89 loss to New Orleans. 

Considering how Pelicans stud Anthony Davis dominated the game on so many levels Sunday night, Horford was quick to acknowledge his role in the loss. 

“He (Davis) was able to get behind our defense a lot,” Horford told reporters after the loss. “Some mistakes on my end; gotta give him credit. He dominated tonight. I’ll definitely take the blame for that.”

Davis finished with a double-double of 34 points and 11 rebounds, a total that would have been higher if not for the game being so lopsided which allowed Davis to head to the bench early in the fourth. 

MORE - Blakely's stars, studs, and duds from C's-Pelicans

And Horford’s struggles defensively were just as problematic on offense as the five-time All-Star tallied just six points on 3-for-11 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists. 

Boston has been a team whose collective sums have fueled their success. 

But Horford understands he has to be a high impact performer, a job that’s even more vital when key starters like Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) are out as well as top reserves Marcus Smart (right thumb) and Daniel Theis (torn meniscus). 

And by Horford’s own admission, he just didn’t bring it on Sunday at a level to give him and the Celtics a legit shot at winning the game.

“Defensively we had too many breakdowns,” Horford said. “And the game got away from us in the second half. So there’s no excuses. I didn’t give us a chance, either; missing a lot of looks offensively. I just need to be better.”

And he’ll have to be if Boston (47-23) is to get back on track with a win on Tuesday against a talented Oklahoma City squad led by Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. 

At full strength, the Thunder would be a significant challenge for the Celtics. 

But having a roster with a number of key players out with injuries, it becomes even more imperative for Boston’s top players to elevate their play. 

And as you scan this Celtics roster and examine those who are healthy enough to play, it’s clear that Horford more than any other Boston player, has to find a way to become more impactful.

Certainly, more points and rebounds would help. 

But as we’ve seen time and time again with Horford, often his greatest contributions to winning games don’t necessarily show up in the final box score. 

That being said, a six-point, four-rebound game doesn’t cut it. 

Horford has to be better, something he knows better than anyone. 

“I’ll definitely look at the film and see how I can be better individually,” Horford said. “The good thing about the NBA, is we have a chance to play on Tuesday. Hopefully we’ll learn from this game and be ready to go Tuesday at home.”