Another thing to note: Irving has been playing spectacular in the past two games against the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks, as the point guard registered his first triple-double with the Celtics against the Kings and nearly repeating it against the Hawks-only being one assist short.
The Celtics forward left Saturday's game against the Hawks during the first quarter with a neck sprain just a minute after he checked in, the team announced. They have won four of their last five matches and in their last game they won at home against the Kings with a 126-120 score, not beating the odds. The only way Boston is going to go on a deep postseason run is if Irving keeps playing like this.
Irving fell just short of his second straight triple-double with 11 rebounds and nine assists along with his 30 points. The Celtics are led by guard Kyrie Irving (23.5 points per game), who's already had two big games against the Hawks this season, scoring 56 total points. Also, Al Horford dealt with a sore knee as well during the game.
The Celtics started hot from the floor and were shooting 66.7 percent late in the second quarter when they opened a 16-point lead (66-50). They did it again Saturday, when they scored 43 in the first and led 74-62 at halftime. "As a 42-year-old I love noon tips". "And he told me with about nine minutes in the fourth that he felt better for whatever reason and was good to go".
As much as they've been trying to rally lately, the Atlanta Hawks will likely be the next team eliminated from playoff contention, but that will likely have zero effect on how Atlanta plays on the road today against the Boston Celtics.
Forward-center John Collins (19.9 points per game) has been playing well of late. Brown, Terry Rozier and Irving each hit a 3-pointer during the scoring stretch. The Celtics (42-27) have won all three meetings and six of the last seven against the Hawks (24-45).
"To have that competitive spirit, I love it", Irving said.
If Hayward had suffered a concussion, he would have been forced to enter the league's concussion protocol, which can take some time before a player is allowed to return.