Injury-plagued Celtics make it 11 wins despite Irving loss

BOSTON (Massachusetts) • The Boston Celtics juggernaut continued to steamroll their way through the NBA (National Basketball Association), extending their winning streak to 11 games on Friday despite a rash of injuries that now includes All-Star Kyrie Irving.

With Gordon Hayward out for the season and Al Horford sitting out a second straight game with a concussion, Irving suffered a possible concussion less than two minutes into the game after taking an elbow from team-mate Aron Baynes.

No matter - despite the revolving door on the infirmary - the Celtics just keep on winning without their "Big Three", rallying from an 18-point deficit before hanging on for a 90-87 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

"We're just going to do what we do, no matter who we got," Celtics' Terry Rozier said. "No matter who we're going to play with, we're going to play hard."

Boston scored a season-low 11 points in the first quarter and were down 18 early in the third before sending the Hornets to their fourth straight loss.

With unheralded guard Shane Larkin leading the way, the Celtics went on a 14-2 fourth-quarter surge to take control of the game and held the Hornets to 11 points in the fourth quarter.

But Boston still had to survive a scramble at the end to survive.

Larkin finished with a season-high 16 points, while rookie Jayson Tatum, who played with a sore ankle, scored 16 points.

"There's no place (more fun) to play than in Boston in comeback games," Larkin said. "We went out there. Crowd got behind us. We pulled out a victory."

Rozier had 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Marcus Morris had 14 and seven rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 10 points and had 13 rebounds.

Kemba Walker led all scorers with 20 points despite missing all six of his three-point shot attempts.

Walker, who missed a jumper that would have put his team ahead with five seconds left, scored Charlotte's final eight points.

Hornets centre Dwight Howard had a dismal night, shooting two-for-eight from the floor, two-for-nine from the foul line, while making seven turnovers.

"We're giving up huge leads. We're not maintaining our game. We've got to be better as a whole," Walker said.



Singtel TV Ch110, 9.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 12, 2017, with the headline 'Injury-plagued Celtics make it 11 wins despite Irving loss'. Subscribe