The Boston Celtics hope to have Kyrie Irving in the lineup when they seek their 13th straight victory in Tuesday’s road game against the Brooklyn Nets. Irving suffered a facial fracture on Friday and missed one game but was cleared to travel with the Celtics for the game against the Nets.
The Celtics have termed Irving questionable for the contest and he has been fitted with a mask to protect the fracture directly below his right eye. Boston’s winning streak matches its third-longest in the past 30 years, but the players are trying not to get caught up in the number of consecutive victories. “Try not to think about it. Try not to get too high, not to get too low,” guard Marcus Smart told reporters after Sunday’s 95-94 win over the Toronto Raptors. “Just trying to stay focused and on to the next one.” The Nets will be without leading scorer D’Angelo Russell (knee), who is slated to miss multiple games due to the injury he suffered during Saturday’s 114-106 loss to the Utah Jazz.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Boston, YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE CELTICS (12-2): Center Al Horford is averaging 15.2 points and 8.7 rebounds and posted his third 20-point outing of the campaign when he had 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting in the win over the Raptors. The performance was even more impressive because the 31-year-old Horford missed the previous two games due to a concussion and it prompted guard Terry Rozier to proclaim “he’s playing young again.” The four-time All-Star had this response: “I don’t know if young Al Horford played like this, to be honest. You know, it’s been years of just working on my game and try to play this new way.”
ABOUT THE NETS (5-8): Russell has been a good fit with Brooklyn since being acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers and is averaging 20.9 points and 5.7 assists. He was in the midst of a 26-point outing against the Jazz when he made contact with a defensive player and landed awkwardly. The injury was diagnosed as a contusion during Sunday’s MRI exam but a timetable for his return won’t be divulged until after Russell is evaluated again later this week.
1. The Celtics went 4-0 against the Nets last season and won the past five meetings.
2. Boston held opponents under 100 on 11 occasions during its 12-game winning streak.
3. Brooklyn swingman Allen Crabbe is just 8-of-26 shooting over the past three games.
PREDICTION: Celtics 112, Nets 105