Celtics

Steph Curry comes out on top of duel with Kyrie Irving

Steph Curry comes out on top of duel with Kyrie Irving

OAKLAND, Calif. – Kyrie Irving was having a special game on Saturday night, the kind of game that’s usually good enough for a Boston Celtics win or at the very least, re-establish Irving as the best player on the floor that given night.

The Celtics’ all-star guard came up short on both fronts with Stephen Curry leading the Golden State Warriors to a 109-105 win.

Irving led Boston wit h37 points, only for Curry to see those 37 and raise it by a dozen as he finished with a game-high 49 points on just 24 shot attempts.

“For the most part he’s lights-out,” Irving said of Curry. “But when he’s shooting like that, taking some deep bombs … I felt we did a great job of sticking to our game plan but he was unbelievable. Gotta give credit where credit is due. When he’s making shots like that, it makes it easier for the team to create separation. That’s a tell-tale sign of a great player.”

And Curry was doling out similar praise for Irving.

“I just know what he’s about,” Curry said of Irving. “He’s an amazing player. The way he saw the game tonight was pretty crazy. I felt like we were defending pretty well. He just made some tough shots; a lot of tough shots and gave his team a lot of momentum but we try to bring the best out of each other and tonight was kind of one of those nights. Just a fun way to play, obviously we want to try and slow him down a little bit next time but it was fun.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 109-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

STARS

Stephen Curry: The two-time league MVP delivered a masterful performance in leading the Warriors to a hard-fought win over the Celtics. He scored a game-high 49 points on 16-for-24 shooting from the field, to go with five assists and two steals.

Kyrie Irving: Similar to Curry, Irving spent most of the game carrying the weight of his team on is shoulders. He would finish with 37 points on 13-for-18 shooting from the field.

STUDS

Jaylen Brown: Kudos to Brown for playing at a high level at both ends of the floor for most of the game. In addition to being one of the many Boston defenders who made life tougher than usual for Kevin Durant (7-for-18 shooting) and Klay Thompson (3-for-12), Brown also had 20 points with 14 coming in the first quarter.

Kevin Durant: He struggled making shots most of the game, but he was indeed a factor during Golden State’s second half surge towards victory. Durant finished with a near double-double of 20 points and nine rebounds in addition to having a team-best plus/minus of +9.

Draymond Green: It wasn’t one of Green’s better games shooting the ball, but he still managed to put his imprint on the game in several categories, tallying a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds while dishing out five assists and blocking three shots.

DUDS

Jayson Tatum: It was another rough night for the rookie, tallying just four points while missing seven of his nine shot attempts.

Klay Thompson: The all-star guard was a non-factor most of the game offensively, scoring just seven points on 3-for-12 shooting from the field.

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Report: Knicks given slight edge over Celtics as Kyrie's free-agent destination

Report: Knicks given slight edge over Celtics as Kyrie's free-agent destination

Those pesky Kyrie-to-the-Knicks rumors have been around even before Yahoo's Chris Mannix mentioned the Celtics were "scared" of Kyrie Irving heading there next summer. They picked up steam this week with another report of The Big Apple as a destination for Irving and Jimmy Butler to join forces.

Now, ESPN's NBA Forecast Panel gives the Knicks a slight edge over the Celtics to land Irving, 46.9 percent to  43.8 percent.

Here's part of the panel's explanation on ESPN's "The Jump": 

It would take some salary-cap machinations for New York to lure Irving to play close to where he grew up in West Orange, N.J. They would likely have to risk losing Kristaps Porzingis in free agency next summer by not giving him a big-money extension this season. 

There's also a potential pursuit of Kevin Durant in free agency next summer as the Knicks - playoff-less since 2013 and title-less for 45 years - make another attempt to spend their way back to relevance. 

Irving has made it clear he's not going to cost himself millions by signing an extension with the C's this season ("Contractually, financially, it just doesn’t make any sense”) and is headed to free agency, so, with training camp more than a month away, get used to a season full of questions about his future. And expect the Knicks speculation to heat up before the four C's-Knicks games (Oct. 20 and Feb. 6 in New York and Nov. 21 and Dec. 6 in Boston). 

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Danny Ainge has got the jokes...aimed at Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown

Danny Ainge has got the jokes...aimed at Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown

Danny Ainge was busy on Twitter late last night poking a little fun at a couple of his players.

Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, wondered where the defense was in a video of "Scary" Terry Rozier playing in a pickup game with Wizards guard John Wall and other NBAers. 

A little good-natured payback for Rozier's FaceTime interruption of Ainge's drafting of Robert Williams back in June?

A few minutes before his Rozier tweet, Ainge saw a video tweeted by Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton of Jaylen Brown showing his skills on the piano at the Berkeley campus' Sproul Plaza. Brown spent a year at Cal before being drafted by Boston in 2016.

Ainge couldn't resist a jab at Brown's ball-handling skills. 

So, Celtics players, post those Twitter videos at your own risk because the boss is watching.

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