Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Kyrie Irving to play in Celtics-Nets wearing mask

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Ferguson | 15 November, 2017, 07:25

The Celtics are unbeaten since an 0-2 start heading into their showdown on Thursday against National Basketball Association champions the Golden State Warriors. 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.

Irving left Boston's comeback win over the Charlotte Hornets last Friday after just two minutes following an inadvertent elbow to the face from teammate Aron Bayes. He fiddled with the mask frequently, but it didn't seem to affect his play much.

Fans have always been high on Jaylen Brown's athleticism. He is also shooting 38.1 percent from the 3-point area.

Irving will wear a mask on the court and says he may need to play in it for a couple of weeks.

Avery Bradley scored 24 points, Reggie Jackson had 17 points, rookie Luke Kennard scored a career-high 14 points, backup point guard Ish Smith scored 11 points and Andre Drummond added 17 rebounds for the Pistons.

Brown, of course, was selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2016 National Basketball Association draft, a selection Boston received from Brooklyn as part of that famous 2013 trade. The Celtics have won six straight in Brooklyn, where they were cheered loudly and Irving even heard "MVP!" Coach Brad Stevens said earlier that he, too, was planning on Irving playing tonight.

Entertainers Diego Alfaro and Georgina Holguin from Mexico attended the game to help promote the Nets' upcoming games in Mexico City to their home fans.

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