A circus of a game Friday night turned to be almost costly, as the Celtics were in deep concern mode early on against the Charlotte Hornets, trailing at most by 18 several times, but overcame the Hornets defense and squeaked out win number 11 at home 90-87.
Unfortunately for the C’s, star point guard Kyrie Irving suffered a bloody injury within roughly two minutes of the first quarter, as he was in the paint besides Aron Baynes. Baynes was contesting a shot as he inadvertently stuck out his right arm, in that motion, striking Irving directly in his face, leaving a puddle of blood. Reports came out quickly when Irving went into the locker rooms that he faces concussion protocol by suffering a blow to the head. Irving calculated no stat lines tonight with the exception of logging in two minutes.
With the magician gone with an injury, along with Al Horford, a big task was to fill against a rebellious Hornets team, who is 5-6 but shows playoff contender looks. Backup point guard Shane Larkin took command after the injury and dialed in 16 points to help guide the C’s back in the win column. Not to mention he scored 16 within 17 minutes. Jayson Tatum was tied with Larkin for most points on the C’s roster tonight with 16 of his own in the starting rotation once again. Followed by Terry Rozier (15) and stretch forward Marcus Morris (14), a full team effort secured the tight knit victory. Larkin was very active on the defensive side of the ball along with forward Jaylen Brown, who scored 10 while snatching 13 rebounds.
A very active C’s team later on was not the case throughout. The Hornets, who were on the brink of mediocre and bottom half of the league gave the Irving-less Celtics a tight window of opportunity. Veteran Dwight Howard swooping in for 11 rebounds on 6 points helped make the team more aggressive, but fueled the fire with a few scuffles. Along with the 14 year vet, consistent point guard Kemba Walker dropped 20 points along with reserve center Frank Kaminsky adding 14 fast points onto the board, it looked as though the Hornets had it in the bag. Not so fast people, it was a tight one today in the Garden for 11 straight victories.
Next game for BOS- Sunday 11/12 Toronto