Kyrie Irving showed no signs of rust in his return from a hip injury, lead the Celtics with a team-high 23 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists to help the visitors pull away in the fourth quarter with a 113-99 win over the shorthanded Knicks.
The game was surprisingly competitive throughout the first three quarters despite the fact New York traded away their starting backcourt on Thursday in a blockbuster deal with the Dallas Mavericks. Still, the Celtics did enough to keep the young hosts at bay, thanks to balanced scoring that included six different Celtics scoring in double figures. Marcus Morris (four made 3s), Al Horford (12 of 14 points in the third quarter) and Gordon Hayward (14 points off the bench) looked solid in stretches but it was Irving who was the main attraction after a day of speculation about his future. The Garden crowd chanted "We want Kyrie" on multiple occasions and cheered the All-Star most times he touched the ball.