Irving’s 27 points, 18 assists leads Celtics past Raptors

Ross Houston
January 19, 2019

Kyrie Irving hit a 3-pointer from the parking lot - while being guarded by Kawhi Leonard - icing the Boston Celtics' win against the Toronto Raptors.

Ibaka has been known as a formidable rim protector for a solid portion of his National Basketball Association career, but he clearly took one on the chin from Horford in this instance, however.

The remark came on Wednesday, January 16 (Thursday, January 17, Manila time) after Irving - who had been vocally frustrated with his teammates - scored 27 points and dished out a career-high 18 assists as the Celtics snapped a three-game losing streak with a 117-108 win over the Toronto Raptors in a battle of two NBA Eastern Conference heavyweights.

"I think that only a few are meant for it and chosen for it, and I think the best person to call in that situation was him".

It seems as Irving gets older and gains more experience as the Celtics' leader, he's starting to gain perspective on what LeBron had to go through when he had to handle a young and inexperienced Irving.

Irving has publicly called out his teammates for not being able to handle adversity and not having what it takes to win an NBA Championship. So just really working on my patience and coming in and helping these guys realize we can do it against the best teams, but in order to be that championship-level team, we've gotta do it every single night against every single team.

Irving said he made the call to James after the loss Saturday night in Orlando, a game that ended with Irving gesturing angrily at Gordon Hayward after an inbounds pass went to Jayson Tatum for the last shot.

And that also made him realize that he owed James an apology for bristling when the star returned from Miami to a Cleveland team that Irving had come to think of as his own. Those words weren't received too well in the locker room, and Irving admitted as much.

Kawhi Leonard scored 33 points and Serge Ibaka had 22 with 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who are now 33-13 overall and fell percentage points behind Milwaukee (32-12) for the best record in the National Basketball Association.

After adding Leonard in the off-season, the Raptors have zoomed to the top of the conference standings.

Raptors: Return home for the second half of a back-to-back against the Phoenix Suns.

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