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Kyrie Irving gives his jersey, shoes to soldiers on military appreciation night

15 November 2017

Kyrie Irving really dislikes having to play in a mask. Irving soon changed to a clear fitted version in the aftermath.

"Just wearing a mask for precautionary reasons", Irving said. "It's the difference in having something over your face".

Aware of the inevitable "media frenzy" that will come with the Celtics' winning streak as well as Thursday's showdown with the defending champion Warriors, Irving said he was "looking forward to all that hoopla".

"The way that they converted on us in transition after our mistakes tonight, you can't have that against Golden State".

"I was telling some of my teammates, some of the fans, too, they were asking me whether I was going to wear the black mask", Irving said.

Irving was hit in the face by teammate Aron Baynes on Friday early in a victory over Charlotte. Irving sat out Sunday's win over the Toronto Raptors before returning on Tuesday night.

"It's broken", he said with a laugh. That black mask, like, it just takes away your vision. "Hopefully, it'll get better in the next few weeks".

The pairing of Kyrie Irving and a protective mask is not a loving combination, to be sure. He made a jumper with 3:40 left after the Nets had closed within four points and drove for another basket about 35 seconds later. If Kyrie Irving and company are able to take down Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and their squad, the Celtics will establish themselves as not only the best team in the East, but the best team in the entire National Basketball Association at the moment.

"It sure looks like Boston is the team of the future in the East, with the assets that they still have and their young talent and their coaching, and Kyrie [Irving] is fantastic", Kerr said after practice Tuesday. "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".

While Irving scored 25 points for the third time as a Celtic, four others reached double figures. Al Horford also continued his efficient run, with 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting.

An inability to contain Irving down the stretch sent the Nets to a seventh loss in nine games since beating Cleveland on October 25.

These Nets are a volume-shooting, pace-accelerated team under coach Kenny Atkinson. "We didn't handle it".

Joe Harris scored 19 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Nets. "It just goes to show when you play against good teams, great teams, in fact, you can't just have little strings here and there".

NOTES: Brooklyn C Jarrett Allen returned after missing the last six games with a left foot strain.

Kyrie Irving gives his jersey, shoes to soldiers on military appreciation night