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updated: 11/6/2017 10:52 PM

Irving takes charge, Celtics beat Hawks for 9th straight win

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  • Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives past Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.

    Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives past Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.
    Associated Press

  • Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) has his shot blocked by Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) has his shot blocked by Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) looks to pass as Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) looks to pass as Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives against Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.

    Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives against Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) battles Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon (14) for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.

    Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) battles Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon (14) for a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) goes up for a shot against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) goes up for a shot against the Atlanta Hawks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens talks with an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens talks with an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) battles Atlanta Hawks guard Marco Belinelli (3) for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) battles Atlanta Hawks guard Marco Belinelli (3) for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) grabs a rebound as Atlanta Hawks forward Luke Babbitt (8) and Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) battle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) grabs a rebound as Atlanta Hawks forward Luke Babbitt (8) and Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) battle during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives against Atlanta Hawks forwards Taurean Prince (12) and Luke Babbitt (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives against Atlanta Hawks forwards Taurean Prince (12) and Luke Babbitt (8) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) scores during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) scores during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer yells to an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer yells to an official during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Atlanta Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (22) drives against Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.

    Atlanta Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (22) drives against Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta. Boston won 110-107.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) has his shot blocked by Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) as Dewayne Dedmon looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) has his shot blocked by Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince (12) as Dewayne Dedmon looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) passes around Atlanta Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) passes around Atlanta Hawks guard Isaiah Taylor (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

  • Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) drives against Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.

    Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) drives against Atlanta Hawks center Dewayne Dedmon (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Atlanta.
    Associated Press

 
 

ATLANTA -- Kyrie Irving took charge in a fashion only he can.

Dribbling and weaving through the lane and around the perimeter, Irving scored from all over and kept his teammates involved all night.

"It's a beautiful game when it's played the right way," the four-time All-Star said. "It's not going to look good every possession, but you've got to be able to move onto the next play. I understand that better than most."

Irving scored 35 points, Jayson Tatum added 21 and the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks 110-107 Monday night for their ninth straight victory.

Irving's 3 from the right wing put the Celtics up 104-103 - the game's 25th lead change - with 1:37 remaining, and Boston led the rest of the way.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points for the rebuilding Hawks, who dropped to 2-9 a night after a surprising two-point win at Cleveland.

"It would've been sweet to win two in a row against those kinds of teams," Schroder said. "But we ended up short."

Boston improved to 9-2, best in the NBA, and has its longest winning streak in seven years.

Al Horford had 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in his best game against the Hawks. Horford spent his first nine seasons in Atlanta before leaving as a free agent ahead of last season and had totals of 20 points and 17 rebounds in three games against his former team.

Irving had his first 30-point game as a Celtic on a night packed with highlights. He dribbled between his legs and behind his back before hitting a floater off the glass from the left baseline to put Boston up 46-44. He had two impressive assists late in the third with long, one-handed passes that led to 3s by Marcus Smart and Tatum, the latter giving Boston a 72-71 lead.

Irving either scored or assisted on every basket of a 16-2 run in the third that put the Celtics up by seven. He finished with seven assists.

"He's just very unique," Horford said. "He has a good sense of how teams are playing him."

The Celtics started to pull away and took their biggest lead at 10 on Semi Ojeleye's 3 early in the fourth, but the Hawks came back to take a few brief leads in the final period.

"To compete the way we did and give ourselves a chance to win, we got better tonight and we can learn from it," Atlanta coach Mike Budenhozler said.

THAT'S A DRAG

Boston coach Brad Stevens wasn't pleased with the ball movement or defense early in the third, storming the floor to call timeout after Atlanta's Luke Babbit hit a 3 to put the Hawks up 57-54.

"You could just tell mentally and physically we were dragging a little bit," Irving said. "That's going to happen sometimes considering how hard we play, but we don't want to make that a habit for us. No excuse."

RAINING DOWN

Budenholzer joked before the game that he regretted having his assistants work with the 6-foot-10 Horford a couple of years ago to develop a strong presence beyond the perimeter. Horford, who went just 1 for 5 on 3s, entered the game shooting nearly 52 percent on 33 attempts from the arc.

"I think there was just a real push from us and a credit to him that he could do it," Budenholzer said. "It's part of the way the game is, and his passing just opens up the court even more for him to drive and attack. He's such a good player, such a smart player."

TIP-INS

Celtics: Irving has scored more points - 245 - than any player in his first 11 games with Boston. ... With Marcus Morris getting the night off to rest his sore left knee, Aron Baynes started at center and finished with just two points and three rebounds in 15 minutes.

Hawks: Malcolm Delaney returned after missing two games with a sprained right ankle and had 13 points. Marco Belinelli scored 19 despite a sore left Achilles.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host the Lakers on Wednesday night.

Hawks: Off until they visit Detroit on Friday night.

___

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