March 17, 2018

Masked-man Irving leads Celtics to 13th win in a row

15 November 2017, 12:37 | Joan Schultz

7:21 PM EST Updated

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"When I take off the mask, I can see everything".

The Celtics and Warriors (11-3) now have the best two records in the National Basketball Association. "We know how tough it's going to be".

Irving chipped in with 25 points, while Marcus Morris scored a season-best of 21.

"I was telling some of my teammates, some of the fans, too, they were asking me whether I was going to wear the black mask", Irving said. It just seems like the next stage in his development. "I admire Kyrie. Obviously, he's been a thorn in our side for years, and now he just happens to wear green". The Celtics will now sit at 13-2, with the NBA's best record, when they take on the West-leading defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in a marquee nationally televised matchup between the league's best offense (Golden State, averaging a blistering 116.1 points per 100 possessions) and its No. 1 defense (Boston, allowing a minuscule 95.8 points-per-100).

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Irving made four of his final five shots and helped the Celtics seal their latest win down the stretch before answering the inevitable question of "how's your face?" while standing near a whiteboard inside a cramped Boston locker room.

Boston and Golden State are also No. 1 and No. 2 in defensive rating, at 95.4 and 101.8, respectively. Kerr said he understands these Celtics are a different team, but that he's excited for the opportunity to gauge where both teams are thus far. But he eventually relented and said that the mask makes things hard for him. "It's fun to go against the contenders from the other conference because you get that glimpse and usually you're only watching them on TV". Boston has put together the league's best defense, endured injury scares to its two remaining stars, Irving and Al Horford, and seen young players like Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum emerge as impact players.

"It's nearly like having somewhat foggy blinders on", Irving said. "But yeah, this was a good game for us". "That's something a competitor wants to be a part of". For us, we're trying to accomplish something bigger than ourselves and win a championship.

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