Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving scored 27 points (11-of-17 field goals, 3-of-3 free throws) with 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 3-pointers, and 2 turnovers in 36.9 minutes of Monday's 111-110 win over the Denver Nuggets.
He had been excited this weekend about the improvements his team showed during a loss to the Golden State Warriors, but badly wanted the Celtics to finish their four-game road trip in the win column.
On Tuesday night, the San Antonio Spurs will host the Denver Nuggets as the latest part of this five-game homestand.
The Spurs scored 60 points in the first half against the Nuggets after averaging just 40 against Philadelphia and Sacramento, including a season-low 31 against the 76ers on Friday. He's connected on 24 of his 35 shot attempts in the last two contests, including a 7-for-10 mark from 3-point range. Meanwhile, Trey Lyles had 20 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Will Barton added 19 points, seven boards, and seven assists in 44 minutes of play.
Marcus Smart was out of the lineup again, missing his second straight game since injuring his hand at the team hotel last week in L.A. "Will Barton has made plays like that before for us and I stand by that decision".
Chandler should find his offensive groove eventually, but with a heavy dose of Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, and Nikola Jokic - it could be tough to find shots for an aging wing like him. The mistake Coach Malone made was in substituting Craig for Jokic, if he had it in his mind that he was going to push a Celtics miss, rather than call a timeout.
Kemba Walker finished with 23 points and three three-pointers to lead the Hornets, who have lost two straight games and four of six.
Jaylen Brown did not make a 3-pointer all night at the Pepsi Center - until the one that counted. "We missed some good opportunities on offence". The German rookie has proven to be a solid defender and rebounder, but if he can knock down 3-point shots consistently, he'll really improve the Celtics' spacing on offense. The Celtics have the threats to do as much damage as anyone when everyone is hitting, but that is far too unsustainable for a team with so many unreliable shooters.
The last time Denver visited San Antonio just a few weeks ago, the Spurs held the Nuggets attack to a mere 35 percent shooting en route to a 112-80 blowout win.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - After their recent struggles offensively, the Spurs welcomed the chance to match baskets with the Denver Nuggets and play at a fast pace.
It was also interesting to watch LaMarcus Aldridge play an outstanding game down low. With these injuries, the Celtics barely have any reliable options in terms of individual talent, so that could force them to play in a way that makes winning a lot more sustainable, and will provide consistency on the court. Malone said Plumlee is "going to be out for a little while.". "I'm just proud of the guy".
What initially looked like a blowout snoozer suddenly turned in the third quarter when the Nuggets exploded against the Celtics' vaunted defense to outscore Boston 37-24.
- Rozier, who was playing on a bad ankle, tied a season-high with nine rebounds and tied a career-high with six assists.