Kyrie Irving bagged 35 points as the Boston Celtics notched their ninth straight victory with a 110-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. Irving broke the 30-point barrier for the first time since joining the Celtics as Boston made hard work of edging past the 2-9 Hawks.
Boston needed a three-pointer from Irving with 87 seconds left on the clock to finally subdue the Hawks, giving the Celtics a 104-103 lead. It was the final twist of a game that saw no fewer than 25 lead changes.
Jayson Tatum also weighed in with a double-digit tally, scoring 21 points while pulling down eight rebounds. Al Horford added 15 points while Jaylen Brown chipped in with 11 points.
Atlanta saw Dennis Schroder score 23 points, while Dewayne Dedmon and Marco Belinelli each had 19 points. Dedmon also finished with 12 rebounds. Irving’s decisive late three-pointer settled a wild encounter which had seen the Hawks battle back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to lead 96-95 with five minutes left on the clock.
Irving’s three-pointer broke Atlanta’s resistance, however, to give Boston their best winning streak since the 2010 campaign. Boston now lead the Eastern Conference with a 9-2 record. Atlanta, who had stunned Cleveland on Sunday in an upset win, are bottom of the conference at 2-9.