Irving left Thursday night’s game with 3:34 remaining in the fourth quarter and the outcome already decided after getting tangled up. He got ice put on the shoulder while he watched from the bench, and did his television walk-off interview with it still on, but had nothing on the shoulder in the locker room, and said he’d be fine.
“It was just a weird play at the end of the game,” Irving said. “I don’t know. It’s like I got caught up as I was trying to get the ball out and pass it to Marcus for a 3. It just caught me weird on my shoulder. So it’s probably an AC joint or something like that. I’m not diagnosing myself, I’m pretty sure. I saw the doctors afterward and they said AC joint or something going on there, but I’ll be all right.”
Irving continued his hot shooting over the past several weeks, scoring 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting (and 3-for-6 from 3-point range). Since Nov. 1, Irving is averaging 24.8 points per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from three.
After losing here to the lowly Knicks two weeks ago, Irving said he and the Celtics were happy to not only extract some level of revenge, but continue the momentum they’ve built over what now is a four-game winning streak.
“We just had fun kicking people’s ass,” Irving said. “We should, we really should. And it should be … competition in itself, it should bring the best out of you. And the way you bring the best out of your opponent is you play at a certain level where they either match it or they exceed it or they don’t do anything at all and they just give up.”
Celtics center Aron Baynes, meanwhile, exited the game after just two minutes with a sprained left ankle, and didn’t return. After the game, though, Baynes walked out of the arena without a limp or any kind of boot, and said he felt fine — which was precisely what Celtics coach Brad Stevens expected him to say.
“In typical Baynes fashion, he’ll do 3-on-3 drills tomorrow after he does full-court sprints and runs a marathon and then he’ll get ready for the flight, then he’ll play on Saturday,” Stevens said with a smile, and tongue planted firmly in cheek. “But I don’t know if the doctors agree with that, so we’ll see.”