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.