Kyrie Irving Goes Through Celtics Shootaround, Plans To Play Vs. Nets

Toronto Raptors' Norman Powell

While lavishing praise on the red-hot Celtics on Tuesday, Kerr may have provided LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers the bulletin-board material they need to pull themselves out of their early-season funk, as well as motivate them come play-off time.

Kyrie Irving returned from his facial injury and hit 8-of-20 shots and two 3-pointers for 25 points, three rebounds, five assists and a steal in 29 minutes in Tuesday's 109-102 win over the Nets.

Irving went through shootaround today and said he plans to play tonight vs. the Brooklyn Nets (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass) with a protective mask over his face. "It's masked man", he joked. He has had to wear a mask before to protect injuries, and says he doesn't like it but understands it is necessary for his safety.

Look up: Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend
Be sure to venture outside this weekend, as the skies will light up with shooting stars due to the Lenoid Meteor Shower. It has resulted in some mighty impressive displays in the past, with meteors falling at rates of up to 50,000 per hour.

"It's gonna be pain tolerance, comfort with the mask", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

Irving absorbed an errant elbow from teammate Aron Baynes 1:10 into the Lakers game, missed the rest of the night, and was also kept out of Sunday's win over Toronto - the Celtics' 12th straight that matched their longest winning streak since the 2008-09 season.

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.

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