Celtics

Celtics' Kyrie Irving with a first in the Big Apple

Celtics' Kyrie Irving with a first in the Big Apple

Kyrie Irving is one of the best in the NBA when it comes to his floor game.

But as we saw in the second quarter of tonight’s game against New York, the six-time All-Star can play above the rim, too.

With Boston ahead 49-21, Jayson Tatum threw a bullet-pass to Irving who was cutting along the baseline who then did the unthinkable -- he threw down a two-handed dunk.

How unusual was it?

According to the Celtics’ season stats, it was Irving’s first dunk of the season. That leaves only two Celtics on their regular playing roster without a dunk this season - Brad Wanamaker and Guerschon Yabusele.

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Celtics legend Bill Russell wears Lakers jersey to honor Kobe Bryant

Celtics legend Bill Russell wears Lakers jersey to honor Kobe Bryant

LOS ANGELES -- Bill Russell is among those whose play for years played a prominent role in the building of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry that is very much alive and well today with both teams among the top four squads record-wise in the NBA. 

But at this time, when the world continues to mourn the loss of Kobe Bryant, Russell - like many Celtics fans - have put their disdain for the Lakers on pause for now. 

And in a clear and undeniable move on Russell’s part to show this, he donned a Lakers jersey No. 24 - the number worn by Bryant - while attending Sunday’s Celtics-Lakers game at the Staples Center. 

While the gesture may not seem that big a deal, for anyone who has followed this Celtics-Lakers rivalry at any point during its existence, you would understand how Russell wearing the jersey of a Lakers player, was huge.

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When it comes to championships, Boston (17) and the Lakers (16) rank number one and two among all teams in the NBA.

On the Lakers roster now, you have a couple of former Celtics in Avery Bradley and Rajon Rondo, with Rondo having won a title with Boston in 2008. 

For Boston, there’s Jayson Tatum who has emerged as an All-Star this season in part because of the lessons he learned from his mentor, Kobe Bryant. 

And let’s not forget the Anthony Davis saga, a player that the Celtics were highly motivated to make a trade for if not for the fact that Davis and his camp repeatedly told anyone within earshot (or a camera or a microphone or a notebook or …) that he wanted no part of being a Boston Celtic.

But none of that mattered now, not with the loss of Bryant being such a unifying factor that could bring even most hated rivals to put that to the side for the moment; yes, even the Celtics and the Lakers. 

And no better example of this was there than 86-year-old Bill Russell who continues to be a trailblazer in a rivalry that’s intensity, always high, is put on pause for the moment in honor of Bryant. 

Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker's knee injury: 'It's not a long-term thing'

Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker's knee injury: 'It's not a long-term thing'

Kemba Walker missed his second straight game Sunday with a knee injury, but Brad Stevens remains optimistic about the Boston Celtics guard's health going forward.

Before the C's road matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers, Stevens provided an encouraging update on Walker.

"I think he's getting better day by day and he did a lot of weight room and workout room yesterday," Stevens said. "I don't know how long it's going to be, but right now we're really focusing on him feeling great and strengthening [the knee].

"I think that it's not a long-term thing, but we need him to feel great. And, you know, the swelling was something that was new coming out of the break, and so we need to make sure he feels great as we hit the stretch run here."


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That's certainly good news for the C's as they'll need Walker down the stretch, especially come playoff time. But even without Walker, Boston has found ways to get the job done.

Without Walker on Friday vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves, four Celtics players scored 25-plus points en route to their 127-117 win. While they can't rely on that kind of production consistently without their All-Star guard, that's an impressive feat.

Walker is averaging 21.8 points, 5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game this season.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.