Celtics' Kyrie Irving, Aware Of 'Masked Man' Craze, To Return Vs. Nets

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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). "So I'm looking forward to all that hoopla". "When I have the mask on, I'm really dialed into what's in front of me, my peripherals are a little cut off, but it's just something you get used to". He then put the finishing touches on the win with a 22-foot pull-up jumper and a drive to the rim, giving the Celtics a 99-92 lead shortly after consecutive 3-pointer by Brooklyn's Allen Crabbe made it a four-point game.

Marcus Morris added 21 points 10 rebounds while Al Horford totaled 17 and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.

Reserve Joe Harris led the Nets with 19 points while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 16.


"Just wearing a mask for precautionary reasons", Irving said. He scored a then career-high 41 points in a loss at NY on December 15, 2012, while with Cleveland.

"They turned up their defense and we couldn't handle it", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said.

At Houston, Toronto's DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points to lead six Raptors in double figures as the Canadian club downed the host Rockets 129-113, snapping Houston's six-game win streak.


James Harden paced Houston with 38 points and 11 assists.

Houston scored six straight points, including three free throws from Harden, to make it 108-103 with about 7 1/2 minutes left.

Kyle Lowry and C.J. Miles scored 19 points apiece for Toronto, with Miles drilling 6 of 9 3-pointers off the bench.


DALLAS - LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 32 points and Patty Mills also hit a season high with 19 to lead San Antonio past Dallas. He got there in 835 away games, 41 fewer than Pat Riley.

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