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

Post Up: Top Shelf Wins

The Celtics and Warriors (11-3) now have the best two records in the National Basketball Association.

"It's a fun thing, because you only play these teams twice, obviously", Kerr said.

"I did my absolute best not to cry in front of her", Irving said on Tuesday.

Irving missed one game with a minor facial fracture after he was hit by teammate Aron Baynes on Friday.

"It's nearly like having somewhat foggy blinders on", Irving said.

Irving has had to play in a mask before, and he's done it well.

In truth, the Celtics offense, which has often struggled even with Irving's face unimpeded - indeed, his 8-for-20 shooting performance wasn't all that different from his 44.4 percent coming in - was no better last night. "The difference with the black mask is that they're not getting the ball because I couldn't see outside of my eyesight".

Rookie Jayson Tatum added 19 points and Jaylen Brown chipped in 14 for the Celtics, who are on their first 13-game winning streak since winning 14 straight from November 22 to December 22, 2010.

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The Nets immediately hit back with a 9-2 run in the first 2:05 of the fourth to make it a one-point game, before four straight free throws from the two Marcuses - Morris and Smart.

These Nets are a volume-shooting, pace-accelerated team under coach Kenny Atkinson.

"For us, it's another game for us to continuously get better and a test for us to really stay together and show our resilience and show what we're really made of", he said. DeMarre Carroll added 16, and Crabbe and Caris LeVert contributed 15 apiece as the Nets played without leading scorer D'Angelo Russell (left knee contusion). Even though DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined to score almost half of the Raptors points, Al Horford, 21 points, led a balanced attack that featured five Celtics scoring in double figures.

James Harden paced Houston with 38 points and 11 assists.

At Dallas, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 points and Australian guard Patty Mills added 19 to spark the San Antonio Spurs over the Dallas Mavericks 97-91.

The Spurs, still playing without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, took a 34-31 lead with about eight minutes to go in the second quarter and managed to hold on the rest of the way.

The Mavs, who dropped to 2-13, shot below 35 percent for most of the game and finished just 10-of-34 from beyond the three-point arc.