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NBA -- Irving's 40 extends Celtics' losing streak to four


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- At 20 years old, Kyrie Irving is so young yet so spectacular.

The 6-foot-3, 191-pound point guard hasn't made the All-Star Game just yet, but with the way he's going in just his second NBA season, it's a really good bet he'll eventually rake many of those All-Star nods.

Tuesday night at the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland, Irving laid bare some of the talent that rocketed him as the No.1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, dropping 15 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter as the Cavaliers rallied past the Boston Celtics, 95-90.

Irving began his fourth-quarter binge in the 7:30 mark, when his pull-up jumper shoved Cleveland ahead, 76-75. And with 23.8 ticks to go, with the game's outcome up for grabs, Irving challenged the notoriously tough Boston defense and came away with a 3-point play that shoved the Cavaliers on top for good, 93-87.

Althouugh his total output was a point shy of his career-high, Irving's shooting percentage was off the charts. He made 16 of 24 shots and 7-of-7 free throws. The Duke alum also snatched three rebounds and dished five dimes, and the only dent in his spectacular effort was the five turnovers he coughed up.

Tristan Thompson had 21 points while Alonzo Gee added 10 for Cleveland, which shot 45.1 percent from the field

Celrics All-Star Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Kevin Garnett talied 16 and five rebounds while Paul Pierce added 12 and seven assists. But it wasn't enough to propel Boston, which struggled mightily and converted only 32 of 84 field goals.

With the loss, their fourth in as many games, the Celtics dropped to 20-21, eighth place overall in the Eastern Conference and barely hanging on to a playoffs spot.

It's a reality that is not lost on Boston head coach Doc Rivers, who told NBA.com, "I believe we should be better than that." (HDS)

Photo: Point guard Kyrie Irving was a masked wonder on Tuesday night when the he dropped 40 points and five assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Boston Celtics, 95-90, at the Quicken Loans Arena.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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