Kyrie Irving carries Boston Celtics with 43 in win over Toronto Raptors

Kyrie Irving carries Boston Celtics with 43 in win over Toronto Raptors

Frustration was apparent for the Celtics from the beginning as they could not ride the momentum of beating the Toronto Raptors one night earlier in overtime. Stevens and the Celtics have been victorious in three straight home games against the Raptors dating back to February 2017.

"I felt like, we found a way to win (Friday) night (against Toronto)", Hayward said.

And Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 31 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in 43 minutes, had a decent look at a game-winning jumper at the end of regulation that was a couple of inches off from this having a very different outcome.

It was the first time Irving has scored at least 40 points with 10 or more assists in a game.

"Whatever word you want to use", Irving said.

"We have to build a tougher team mindset than we have", Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said after Saturday's loss.

Stevens said he didn't have to think about whether leaving Hayward in late against the Raptors made sense minutes-wise.

"It's just not too often during the regular season you get to have games like this", Irving said.

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"[Leonard] is one of the greatest players in our game right now, obviously, so much respect", Irving told ESPN. "If he can score 15 points on eight shots like tonight, that's great". In Utah's game Friday night, Donovan Mitchell was 1-for-11 from three-point range and shot 13-for-35 from the field. The team was 4 for 22 from behind the arc.

"We competed but we have to be smarter", Jazz coach Quin Snyder said after the game. Hopefully we'll get those opportunities and take advantage of those opportunities.

As a team, though, the Jazz were plagued by some of the same issues that have hurt them in recent weeks.

Needless to say, it had been a long time between that type of offensive display and it couldn't have come at a better time for a Boston team that has been struggling to start the season. On the road he gave them the green light to make a 20-point comeback against the Suns when most coaches would have pulled their starters that deep into the fourth quarter, and last Friday in Utah he made excuses for his team's shortcomings - pointing to the fact that Boston was in the midst of the most hard schedule in the league, a team that was exhausted from a grueling five-game road trip.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert was a minus-26 Friday night, tying his career worst in that category.

That aside, the Celtics outscored the Jazz in that second quarter and out-rebounded them the whole game.

After a first quarter largely characterized by Utah taking up a real estate claim in the paint and scoring most of their points there, Boston responded positively in the second frame. Irving noted that change after the game.

Kyrie Irving followed up his season-high 43-point virtuoso performance with 20 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Celtics.

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