Celtics win 13th consecutive

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics (13-2) and Golden State (11-3) have the two best records in the National Basketball Association. "You just get blown out of the gym", Celtics Coach Brad Stevens said.

"I did my absolute best not to cry in front of her", Irving said on Tuesday.

Irving suffered a facial fracture Friday in Boston's 90-87 victory over Charlotte when Australian teammate Aron Baynes elbowed him accidentally.

"It's nearly like having somewhat foggy blinders on", Irving said. "The difference with the black mask is that they're not getting the ball because I couldn't see outside of my eyesight".

The pairing of Kyrie Irving and a protective mask is not a loving combination, to be sure.

Irving's masked showing helped the Celtics win at least 13 straight games for the 11th time in team history, Boston also is on its first 13-game run since winning 14 straight November 22 to December 22, 2010.

In truth, the Celtics offense, which has often struggled even with Irving's face unimpeded - indeed, his 8-for-20 shooting performance wasn't all that different from his 44.4 percent coming in - was no better last night.

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In 13 starts this season, the four-time NBA All-Star is now averaging 20.3 points, 5.2 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game in roughly 31 minutes of action per contest. "We just have to play really solid on both ends and do what we do as well as we can and see where we stand". DeMarre Carroll added 16, and Crabbe and Caris LeVert contributed 15 apiece as the Nets played without leading scorer D'Angelo Russell (left knee contusion).

"They turned up their defense and we couldn't handle it", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. Golden State is next at 11-3, and Boston got good preparation for the game against a persistent Brooklyn team.

In other National Basketball Association games Tuesday, DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points and the Toronto Raptors built a big lead in the first half and held on for a 129-113 victory over the Houston Rockets in Houston.

James Harden had 38 points and made 19 of 19 foul shots for the Rockets, who ended a six-game winning streak.

DALLAS (AP) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 32 points in his hometown and San Antonio beat Dallas.

The Spurs, still playing without star French guard Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, improved to 9-5. Now at 13-2, they've won 13 games in a row and appear to be the most dominant and cohesive team in the East by a landslide.

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