One days' rest did not cool off Kyrie Irving in the slightest.
His Boston Celtics team trailed by four points going into halftime but Irving was not going to let them drop a home game.
The star point guard, who had 10 points and six assists at the half, exploded for 20 points and three assists in the third quarter alone. Irving shot 7-for-10 from the field while knocking down three of his four attempts from long range to give his team a much needed boost going into the fourth quarter.
Kyrie Irving pours in 20 3rd quarter PTS for the @celtics! #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/Lz1IpZG8dM- NBA (@NBA) January 19, 2019
He kept things rolling well into the fourth quarer, scoring eight points and dishing two assists in the final frame to help the Celtics come away with a win. With a slim two-point lead late in the fourth, he had Marc Gasol lost on a switch freeing himself up for a wide open mid-range jumper.
Just too good. pic.twitter.com/76MwUGLU5i- Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 19, 2019
The Grizzlies were able to make it a five-point game with a minute and a half to go, but Irving stepped up again with a deep 3-pointer to decide the outcome.
Kyrie finished with 38 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds on the night.
"I thought he picked his spots well tonight," Celtics' head coach Brad Stevens stated after the game. "It was a patient, really good, smart attack by him."
Irving has been on fire dating back to Wednesday's win over the Toronto Raptors. He's averaging 32.5 points on 62.5 percent shooting from the field to go with 12.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds. He is also the first Celtic since Larry Bird in 1989-90 to have multiple 35-point, 10-assist games in a season.
He wasn't the only Celtics' player getting it done tonight though - Marcus Smart had 20 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. But most impressively from Smart, he knocked down 6-of-8 attempts from beyond the arc. Smart is shooting a career-best 37.4 percent from 3-point land and Stevens is not surprised by it at all.
"He worked really hard on (his 3-point shooting) two Summers ago and we would've seen it pay off more last season had he not dealt with a few hand injuries."
Mike Conley (26p, 4a) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (23p, 4r) did what they could but a poor shooting night from Marc Gasol hindered their chances, though he still had 12 assists and 11 rebounds in the contest.
The Celtics have now won eight consecutive games at the TD Garden, their longest streak since the 2015-16 season.