Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics reacts after scoring a season-high 47 points against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Texas. AFP

Celtics edge Mavs, extend streak to 16
AP (The Philippine Star) - November 21, 2017 - 4:00pm

DALLAS – Double-digit deficits are becoming just a minor annoyance to the Boston Celtics as they continue their winning ways.

Kyrie Irving scored 10 of his season-high 47 points in overtime as the Celtics rallied from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Dallas Mavericks, 110-102, on Monday night and extend their winning streak to 16 games.

The winning streak ties the fourth-longest in franchise history, and for the third game in a row, Boston trailed by double digits.

In contrast to recent wins over Golden State and Atlanta, this one required a fourth quarter comeback. For that, the Celtics turned to Irving, who delivered his best performance for his new team after Dallas had taken an 87-74 lead with 7:47 to play.

“For us it’s just about battling back when teams get a comfortable rhythm, whether it’d be in the first half or the second half,” Irving said. “As a group we continue just to stick together throughout anything and everything.”

Elsewhere, Charlott stunned Minnesota, 118-102; Cleveland stopped Detroit, 116-88; Indiana trounced Orlando, 105-97; Philadelphia routed Utah, 107-86; Portland downed Memphis, 100-92; Washington blasted Milwaukee, 99-88; New Orleans stunned Oklahoma, 114-107; San Antonio ripped Atlanta, 96-85; Denver buried Sacramento, 114-98; and the New York Knicks thumped the Los Angeles Clippers, 107-85.

Back in Dallas, Irving stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and fed Jayson Tatum for an alley-oop lay-up that hung on the rim for a full second before dropping through with 1:01 to play to tie the score at 96.

In the extra period, Irving scored his team’s first six points. Then after Jaylen Brown gave Boston a 104-102 lead with a jumper with 1:39 to play, Irving went to work on Yogi Ferrell, backing him down and drawing contact on a lay-up with 48.5 seconds to play. Though Irving missed the free throw to keep the score 106-102, Dallas never got closer.

“I don’t really see it as a pressure situation,” Irving said of his late-game play. “It’s just like playing basketball, man. It’s just like being in a park 7-7 and game is eight.”

Harrison Barnes scored 31 points and Wesley Matthews had 18 for Dallas, which came back from an early double-digit deficit as the Celtics went cold for much of the second and third quarters. Barnes missed a jumper with less than a second to go in regulation that could have won it for Dallas, which fell to 3-15.

“We just needed to make a couple more plays at key times,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Probably just one more key play in the last minute or minute and a half. That would have been the difference.”

Brown finished with 22 for Boston. He and Irving combined to go 24-for-35 while the rest of the Celtics went 14-for-49.

The Mavericks fell behind by as many as 15 points in the first half, outscoring the Celtics 55-35 over the second and third quarters.

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