Kyrie Irving lifts Celtics from horrific start to incredible comeback over Suns

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports

Saying the Boston Celtics’ start to the season has been less than ideal would be a small understatement. That trend didn’t get much better in the first half of the team’s game against the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

The Boston Celtics’ awful, awful start

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Facing the team with the worst record in the Western Conference in the Suns, the Celtics opened the game with 13 points and just four field goals in the first quarter, then finished the first half with no starter other than Kyrie Irving having scored a point. It was not for a lack of trying:

At that point, it was time to pile onto a Celtics team that has been a fairly significant disappointment despite entering the game above .500 at 6-4.

This was a team that was supposed to pace an Eastern Conference finally rid of LeBron James. Instead, the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks jumped ahead to open the season while the Celtics have lost games to the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic. A loss to the Suns would have made it even worse.

And then, the Celtics everyone was expecting before the season showed up, led once again by Kyrie Irving.

There was no stopping Kyrie Irving on Thursday. (AP Photo)
There was no stopping Kyrie Irving on Thursday. (AP Photo)

Kyrie Irving leads Celtics comeback

Opening the second half down 55-35, the Celtics mounted a furious comeback late in the fourth quarter. The team went from being down 14 with 3:30 left, to down eight with 90 seconds left, to down six with 40 seconds left.

Finally, with the team down 100-97 on its final possession, Marcus Morris did this:

Once the game hit overtime, Irving took over. The Celtics won 116-109 after an overtime period in which Irving either scored or assisted on all but one of his team’s field goals.

In a game in which Jayson Tatum, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford combined for 19 points on 7-of-22 shooting, Irving dropped 39 points and six assists to save the night.

Sure, it was against a rebuilding team that ranks last in the NBA in point differential, but there’s something to be said about recovering from a terrible start to post a thrilling road win. It certainly beats the alternatives that were available to the Celtics at halftime.

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