Did Kyrie Irving just have his best game as a Boston Celtic?

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"I would say when Kyrie Irving has it going, you tweak everything to get him the ball in space as much as possible", said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

"It was just a veteran game out there, just great competition for a Friday night in the NBA", Irving said.

Before this season began, the Celtics and Raptors were pegged as the teams most likely to square off in the Eastern Conference finals for the right to the throne that LeBron James and his former team had claimed for eight straight years.

The Celtics 86 points were a season low and they shot like a team with exhausted legs, missing 28-of-33 three-point attempts-and 17-of-18 in the second half.

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The Brooklyn Nets, meanwhile, claimed their first win in Washington in almost four years, Spencer Dinwiddie reaching a season-best 25 points in the 115-104 victory over the Wizards. Overall Boston shot 38.5 percent, not that far behind Utah's 45 percent...until you take into account that the Jazz took far fewer shots, and were thus picking their spots in a way the Celtics weren't.

"I'm looking forward to those two five-day stints we have where we have a back-to-back and four or five days (off) and another one where have four or five days, " said Stevens. I have no interest in litigating whether Utah unfairly earned more trips to the line than Boston; they didn't do much better than the Cs but did better enough.

"It's definitely a challenge, but the best teams in the league do it". Instead, Snyder wants to be aggressive from the very beginning of a possession onwards, rather than jogging up the court.

"It's something we've been dealing with all year". Those percentages include Kyrie Irving's 20 points on an efficient 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 1-for-2 from 3. Ricky Rubio had 13 points, four assists and three rebounds. The Celtics got balanced scoring up-and-down the roster, led by Jaylen Brown's 18 points. Stevens said he likes the way Jayson Tatum has been defending. But we just needed other guys out there. Its loss to Orlando indicated just that, but the team should come together better as the season wears on.

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Those three were in the starting lineup with PJ Dozier and Walter Lemon, Jr., who are on two-way contracts with the Celtics. The Jazz throttled the Celtics in this third quarter on both ends, and while their lead ballooned higher in the fourth, the third is what decided this contest.

The Celtics scored 17 points in the third quarter and hit on just 5 of 33 from beyond the arc. "I just think also the inconsistencies we've been showcasing too, it can be frustrating as a coach as well as a player too".

As Andy Larsen and Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune revealed, the Jazz felt "confident" they could land Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, before pulling out of a deal.

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