By Rebecca Washney
ATLANTA—Kyrie Irving continues to make Cleveland miss him, scoring 35 points against the Atlanta Hawks on Monday to bring home the Celtics win at 110-107. No longer living in the (rather large) shadow that Lebron James casts in Cleveland, Kyrie Irving is shining on his own, helping the Celtics hit the longest winning streak the NBA has seen in seven years.
The Celtics improved to 9-2 on Monday night after the win against Atlanta. The 6-foot-1 point guard Dennis Schroder, who helped the Hawks with their surprising two-point win against Cleveland Sunday night, racked up 23 points against the Celtics but wasn’t able to pull off another win against the new Boston powerhouse.
“It would have been sweet to win two in a row against those kinds of teams,” Schroder said. “But we ended up short.” Irving managed to get his first 30-point game in a Celtic’s jersey, finishing the game with seven assists. In the third quarter during a 16-2 run, Irving either scored or assisted on every basket.
The Hawks managed to keep the game close before showing some fatigue in the fourth quarter, the biggest lead between the teams was 10 after Semi Ojeleye’s 3 points. The game changed leads 25 times before the Irving succeeded in pulling away with a 3 point shot from the right, putting Boston up by one point with only 1:37 minutes remaining.
“It’s a beautiful game when it’s played the right way,” Irving said. “It’s not going to look good every possession, but you’ve got to be able to move on to the next play. I understand that better than most.” Al Horford, who spent his first nine seasons in Atlanta before leaving as a free agent had his best game yet against his former team, getting 15 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.
“It’s a part of the way the game is, and his passing just opens up the court even more for him to drive and attack,” Budenholzer said about Horford, his former player. “He’s such a good player, such a smart player. The Hawks, whose fatigue in the fourth quarter seemingly their greatest obstacle, now holds a dismal 2-9 for the season.
“To compete the way we did and give ourselves a chance to win, we got better tonight, and we can learn from it,” Atlanta coach Mike Budenholzer said. The Hawks play the Detroit Pistons Friday at 7 p.m. at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
#truetoatlanta #atlantahawks #ATL