Sunday, November 18, 2018

Irving, Celtics rally from 22 down to top Suns 116-109 in OT

PHOENIX (AP) — When their shots finally started to fall, the Boston Celtics couldn't be stopped.

Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Boston rallied from a 22-point deficit for a 116-109 win over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

Irving scored Boston's first six points in the extra period, and Marcus Morris finished with 17 against his former team — including the tying 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in regulation off a feed from Irving.

Morris hit from the top of the arc to tie it at 100. Jaylen Brown added 17 points, all after halftime, for the Celtics (7-4).

"Guys like Kyrie, he is going to have all the focus on him," Morris said. "I worked on my 3-pointers extensively."

Devin Booker paced the Suns (2-9) with a season-high 38 points, and T.J. Warren had 29.

The Celtics ended a two-game skid, while the Suns have lost nine of 10.

Booker scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and seven in OT, but Phoenix couldn't hold onto a 16-point lead with 6:13 to play in regulation.

The Suns led 92-76 when Booker dropped in a short fadeaway.

"We just fell apart down the stretch. Kept giving up quick buckets. Miscommunications on defense. A little bit of everything," Booker said.

Boston recovered from an ice cold start and won despite shooting 40.2 percent from the field. The Celtics trailed by double digits for much of the second half until a furious late rally.

Suns rookie Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Irving hit a 3 with 35.1 seconds to go in the fourth, then his steal led to Brown's layup that cut the Suns' lead to 98-97 with 7.3 seconds to play. Warren hit two free throws, then Morris took a pass from a double-teamed Irving for the tying 3.

"We just learned a lot about being resilient," Irving said. "We had to make adjustments."

Suns coach Igor Kokoskov thought fatigue caught up to his team late in the game. He also wanted a foul against Irving on the Celtics' last possession of the fourth quarter.

"You take the blame and responsibility as a coach," Kokoskov said.

Warren, starting for the first time since Oct. 31, scored 14 first-quarter points as the Suns took advantage of Boston's shooting woes. Phoenix led 32-13 after 12 minutes.

After making their first shot of the game, a 3 by Irving, the Celtics missed their next 12 attempts and the Suns raced out to a 15-3 lead.

Aron Baynes' putback with 5:04 left in the first quarter was the Celtics' second basket of the game, and they shot just 4 of 22 in the quarter.

Boston got the lead down to 14 in the second, but a 3 from Booker gave the Suns a 48-26 advantage with 4:31 left in the half.

The Celtics trailed 55-35 at the break.

Consecutive baskets by Booker put the Suns in front 75-58 in the third quarter.

"I told Igor we didn't deserve to win the game, but it was a great individual performance by Kyrie, certainly," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.


Celtics: The team's 13 points in the first quarter were a season low. ... Irving was the only starter to make a field goal in the first half. Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Brown were a combined 0 for 15. ... G Marcus Smart surpassed 1,000 rebounds and 400 steals for his career.

Suns: Warren made his third start this season. Ryan Anderson came off the bench. ... Booker has 146 points in his last three games against the Celtics, including the career-high 70 he scored in Boston on March 24, 2017. ... A game after playing a season-low seven minutes, 2017 first-round draft pick Josh Jackson played only five.


Stevens called Ayton a "special talent" when asked about the rookie before the game. "He brings everything to the table you would think a really good player at that position brings," Stevens said.


Brown's first basket was a high-flying, one-handed dunk in transition at the 10:10 mark of the third quarter. Smart provided the assist.


Celtics: At the Utah Jazz on Friday in their second set of back-to-back games this season.

Suns: At the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.


More AP NBA: and

England reaches Nations League finals with Croatia win

England reaches Nations League finals with Croatia win

Harry Kane sent England into the finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League by avenging the World Cup semifinal loss to Croatia
Updated: 20 minutes ago
NASCAR to crown Cup Series champion at season finale

NASCAR to crown Cup Series champion at season finale

NASCAR's Cup Series champion to be decided when title contenders Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. take the green flag at season finale
Updated: 1 hour ago

No. 18 Michigan meets Providence for Tip-Off championship

Following Villanova upset, No. 18 Michigan looks to close out big week with tournament trophy when it faces Providence for championship of Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament.
Updated: 1 hour ago

Class 2A Texas high school playoff scores, pairings

Class 2A Texas high school playoff scores, pairings
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hirscher edges Kristoffersen to win World Cup slalom opener

Hirscher edges Kristoffersen to win World Cup slalom opener

Marcel Hirscher posted the fastest time in both runs to win the season-open men's World Cup slalom on Sunday
Updated: 2 hours ago

No. 16 Virginia Tech faces No. 23 Purdue in Charleston final

No. 16 Virginia Tech and No. 23 Purdue to square off for Charleston Classic championship
Updated: 2 hours ago
AP Top 25 Takeaways: Can Urban Meyer endure at Ohio State?

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Can Urban Meyer endure at Ohio State?

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Can Urban Meyer endure at Ohio State? Oklahoma State sparks more Big 12 madness
Updated: 2 hours ago

England's Willett wins World Tour Championship

Danny Willett ended his title drought in thrilling fashion, winning the DP World Tour Championship by two shots despite a last-hole blunder on Sunday
Updated: 2 hours ago

Kulizhnikov wins 1,000 meters at speed skating World Cup

Russia's Pavel Kulizhnikov won the men's 1,000-meter race at the season-opening speed skating World Cup event in Japan
Updated: 4 hours ago
15-year-old Turkish rider Oncu wins in his 1st Moto3 race

15-year-old Turkish rider Oncu wins in his 1st Moto3 race

Turkish rider Can Oncu has won his maiden Moto3 race to become the youngest ever grand prix winner in motorcycling at age 15
Updated: 4 hours ago