LeBron James HELD BACK Kyrie Irving at Cleveland Cavaliers - Steve Kerr

Ross Houston
November 15, 2017

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. Irving soon changed to a clear fitted version in the aftermath.

With the Boston Celtics likely winning the Tuesday night game over the Brooklyn Nets, that will be 13 in a row for them.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving expressed frustration with the clear protective mask that he wore while returning to game action Tuesday night but said it was still a better option than the black one he once used during a memorable performance here in NY. "It's the difference in having something over your face". It's nearly like having somewhat foggy blinders on.

"The way that they converted on us in transition after our mistakes tonight, you can't have that against Golden State".

Irving was considered questionable for the game after taking an inadvertent elbow from team mate Aron Baynes 1:50 into Friday's game against Charlotte.

"It's broken", he said with a laugh. That black mask, like, it just takes away your vision. "Hopefully, it'll get better in the next few weeks".

Irving has had to play in a mask before, and he's done it well. In fact, the Celtics allowing just 94 points per game.

Irving returned with 4:45 remaining, moments after watching Marcus Morris hit a 3-pointer with a 95-83 lead.

Kyrie Irving shakes the hands of two members of the United States Armed Forces after giving them his game-worn sneakers and jersey.

"I don't worry about him getting a rhythm too much", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "He'll find that and obviously he made huge plays late in the game again".

It will mark the third time in his career that Irving will wear a mask for a game.

"Great", Celtics center Al Horford said of Irving's return.

An inability to contain Irving down the stretch sent the Nets to a seventh loss in nine games since beating Cleveland on October 25. "We didn't handle it". 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). If Kyrie Irving and company are able to take down Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and their squad, the Celtics will establish themselves as not only the best team in the East, but the best team in the entire National Basketball Association at the moment. So I'm just like, 'Oh, basket.' Like, this is just the best-case scenario.

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