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The Boston Celtics faced off with masks on against the Brooklyn Nets, or Kyrie Irving did, at least.
While the mask seemed to affect Irving's shot early - he went two of six in the first - his teammates kept the Celtics in control almost from the opening tip, with a trey by Jayson Tatum coming less than a minute into the match.

Al Horford and Jaylen Brown helped open up a 17-4 lead before the Nets showed some life behind excellent play from Caris Levert, going on an eleven-point run. The quarter ended on a Marcus Smart jumper, putting Boston up 32-21.

The second quarter opened with a Joe Harris layup followed by a trey a few plays later to pull Brooklyn within six, and a free throws from Trevor Booker and a trey from Allen Crabbe made it a one-point game while Boston went cold from the floor. A steal and finish by Levert put the Nets up 37-38, while Irving continued to miss, and no other Celtics were able to put points on the board. 
Another Booker layup and a three by DeMarre Carroll capped off a 14-point run to extend their lead to six before Irving drew a foul, converting both while clearly chafing at the mask, taking it off at every opportunity, leaving it with former Celt Brian Scalabrine (who was calling the game) at one point.
Irving began to warm up, hitting a jumper and throwing a dime to Semi Ojeleye to cut the lead down to two in the half's waning moments, and eventually took back the lead briefly before another Crabbe trey gave the Nets back the lead only to see Horford tie it up at 52 at halftime. 
The third quarter opened with the Nets jumping back in the lead off a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson bucket, but Marcus Morris quickly took back the lead with a quick five-point one-man run. The Nets fought back, taking back the lead briefly, but Horford and Irving kept Boston close, going back up on top with five left in the third on an Irving jumper despite his continued obvious displeasure with his mask.
Brown and Tatum helped extend the lead, including a pair of plays where Jayson drew contact and converted from the stripe all four chances before botching a dunk a few plays later. Levert warmed up as the third quarter drew to a close, chipping away at Boston's lead with a trip to the line for two points and a three on the next possession, ending the quarter with the Celts up 80-71.

The Nets continued eating at the lead with a pair of treys from Harris sandwiching a third from Morris, followed by buckets from Spencer Dinwiddie and Levert to pull back within one. Trips to the foul line for Morris and Smart gave the Cs a cushion, and a pair of buckets from Mook pushed the lead to nine with seven left in the tilt.

The Celts would push the lead to 12 with baskets from Shane Larkin and Morris before back-to-back threes from Crabbe cut the lead in half with four minutes remaining. Hollis-Jefferson would cut it to five with a pair of free throws with two and change left in the fourth, yet the Nets began to fall apart down the stretch.
Tatum and Irving would push the lead back to ten in the final moments of the game, signed with a pair of free throws by Irving with just over 30 seconds left in the tilt, and sealed with Smart and Tatum hitting three of four from the stripe while Harris hit another trey as time expired. The Celts kept their streak alive, winning thirteen straight before their Thursday night showdown with the Golden State Warriors at home.
For more stories by Justin, click here.



Image: NBA
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 11/14/2017 09:54:00 PM Edit
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