Masked man: Irving returns as Celtics win 13th straight

Kyrie Irving

WCVB Kyrie Irving SOURCE WCVB

Irving has had to play in a mask before, and he's done it well.

Irving returned to the lineup and scored 25 points while wearing the mask, and the Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-102 on Tuesday night to remain unbeaten since an 0-2 start.

The masked Irving might have disliked his new look, but despite the awkwardness, he sprung for 25 points and five assists. He scored a then career-high 41 points in a loss at NY on December 15, 2012, while with Cleveland. "When I have the mask on, I'm really dialed into what's in front of me, my peripherals are a little cut off, but it's just something you get used to".

"When I take off the mask, I can see everything. The difference with the black mask is that (teammates are) not getting the ball because I couldn't see outside of my eyesight", Irving said to laughter. That black mask, like, it just takes away your vision. So I'm glad I get to wear a clear one. I'm telling (teammates), like, 'Come on, show some gratitude.

The Celtics, winners of 12 in a row, have the best record in the National Basketball Association.

At Dallas, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 32 points and Australian guard Patty Mills added 19 to spark the San Antonio Spurs over the Dallas Mavericks 97-91. Al Horford posted his fifth double-double with 17 points and 11 boards, and Brown totaled 14 points.

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Horford has shot 16-for-19 during his past two games.

"I thought guys competed", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said.

Irving's masked showing helped the Celtics win at least 13 straight games for the 11th time in team history, Boston also is on its first 13-game run since winning 14 straight November 22 to December 22, 2010.

The Celtics remained unbeaten since an 0-2 start heading into their showdown Thursday in Boston against the National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.

"They're all on a string, they play off each other really well, they're really sound and they're motivated", Kerr said. "They play fast, and Golden State, that's what they do. But yeah, this was a good game for us". He made a jumper with 3:40 left after the Nets had closed within four points and drove for another basket about 35 seconds later.

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