Kyrie Irving calls chants from Knicks fans a 'distraction'

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Savvy Knicks fans are hip to that reality, of course, so they wasted no time in starting their courtship Friday night when, at one point, they started chanting "We Want Kyrie" at the All-Star point guard in the second half.

Irving has a player option for next season, but said in early October at a Celtics fan event at TD Garden: "If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here".

When asked if he was going to resign with the Celtics, Kyrie told reporters "ask me July 1st".

Irving also heard cheers from the crowd each time he touched the ball early in the first quarter.

A "We want Kyrie! I love the man that he's becoming, I love the challenges he's accepted and I always wish the best for him".

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Harden finished with exactly 30 points and now has scored at least that many in 25 straight games.

Harden scored 30 points to stretch his streak to 25 games of scoring 30 or more but needed a late three to keep the streak alive.

In Denver, the Nuggets almost kept the red-hot James Harden to under 30 points as they beat Houston 136-122 to end a nine-game losing streak against the Rockets.

On a day where his future with the Celtics was brought into question, Kyrie Irving had a team-high 23 points.

Marvin Williams hit two 3-pointers in an 11-0 run, and Charlotte rallied in the final five minutes for a win over visiting Memphis.

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Memphis suited up just 10 healthy players and was minus star Mike Conley, out because of soreness in his left knee. The Grizzlies were without two starters, Mike Conley (knee) and Jaren Jackson Jr. Williams finished with 16 points.

Al Horford and Gordon Hayward contributed 14 apiece, Jayson Tatum chipped in 13 and Australian Aron Baynes made nine.

Throw in the hopes of the No. 1 pick - they now have the NBA's worst record at 10-40 - and two more first-rounders they acquired from the Mavericks, and the Knicks could be in their best shape in years to actually forge a real future.

Would Durant really leave the most money and an National Basketball Association championship team in Golden State for the headaches that helped keep James and others away?

Miami's Kelly Olynyk tallied 21 points, and Josh Richardson had 18.

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Malik Beasley scored a career-high 35 points, Nikola Jokic had 31 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, and Denver almost held James Harden below 30 points in a blowout of visiting Houston.