Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving was 'pretty peaceful' during 43-point performance against the Toronto Raptors


Kyrie Irving went off on Friday night as the Boston Celtics defeated the Toronto Raptors 123-116 in overtime to tie the season series at 1-1.

Irving finished with a game-high 43 points and 11 assists. It was the first time Irving had gone for 40-plus points and 10-plus assists in his career. He also joined the 10,000 point club in the process.

The last Celtic to post those type of numbers was Antoine Walker, who had 43 points and 13 assists against the Sacramento Kings in 2001 - but that was on the road. The last time anyone in Boston saw that sort of performance was all the way back in 1992 when Hall-of-Famer Larry Bird finished with a triple-double of 49 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists in a win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Needless to say, it had been a long time between that type of offensive display and it couldn't have come at a better time for a Boston team that has been struggling to start the season.

"I mean he made some shots tonight where you're just like wow," Gordon Hayward said of Irving's performance post-game. "You catch yourself just being a fan. When he gets into that mode, I think the whole arena knew where we were going and so did the Raptors. They just couldn't stop him.

"He played tremendous tonight. We've been leaning on him a lot and I'm glad we came out on top."

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23 of Irving's 43 points came in the fourth quarter and overtime. He was able to get to his spots on the floor and shot an incredible 9-for-12 during that stretch. Irving told reporters it was "pretty peaceful" after the win.

"Other than fatigue, I don't think anything else really was on my mind other than just the next play that needs to happen on both ends of the floor," Irving said via Jay King of The Athletic.

"Any time we get to the rim like that, in any game, that's when our runs start. Obviously, we can get some great 3s in transition, but when we're attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line, we're a totally different team."

The performance had the five-time All-Star the talk of the league, with Irving even getting some love on social media from his former teammate LeBron James.

Whether or not the Celtics can build on this huge early season win remains to be seen, but if Irving can continue to stay in the zone, Boston will get back on track soon rather than later.

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