After a nail-biting victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving addressed the elephant in the room: Just how significant is his connection with the Knicks ahead of his likely free agency next summer?
Boston went on to beat NY in a thriller with Jayson Tatum giving Boston a 103-100 lead with a pair of free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining after hitting a clutch fadeaway seconds before. But Burke missed the first free throw.
The last-minute loss was the second in as many nights for NY, which fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 107-105, on Friday, when Hardaway missed the potential game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.
On Saturday afternoon, the news that various stars will sit for their night games started trickling out.
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Boston seemed to be regaining control early in the fourth quarter but again the Knicks came back, tying it at 89 on consecutive 3-pointers by Hardaway.
Celtics: Aron Baynes got the start with Hayward out and scored 10 points.
Not the missed dunk with 36 seconds left - thanks to Tatum rebounding it himself and making a tough jumper - and not his foolish foul with 1.9 seconds remaining.
The Celtics confirmed it was a sore right hamstring. Knox stayed on the court briefly, appearing in pain, then was carried off by a pair of teammates. The Knicks said X-rays on his ankle were negative.
Because the No. 9 pick wasn't able to shoot the free throws, he was, by rule, forced to miss the remainder of the game. But he only played in nine games for San Antonio in 2017-18, missing most because of a quadriceps injury, and so coach Nick Nurse said it was best for his team's top player to rest during Toronto's third contest in four nights to open this season.