Masked-man Irving leads Celtics to 13th win in a row

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Kyrie Irving plans to play Tuesday night when the Boston Celtics square off with the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. "The difference with the black mask is that (teammates are) not getting the ball because I couldn't see outside of my eyesight", Irving said to laughter. "So that's that. Just wearing a mask for precautionary reasons".

"When I take off the mask, I can see everything". And when I have the mask on, I'm really dialed into what's in front of me. "I'm showing gratitude, too, for not wearing that black mask.' So yeah, hopefully a few more weeks in the mask and I'll be out of it".

The Celtics, winners of 12 in a row, have the best record in the National Basketball Association. Al Horford posted his fifth double-double with 17 points and 11 boards, and Brown totaled 14 points.

The Celtics enter Tuesday's game against the Nets riding a 12-game winning streak.

"They turned up their defense and we couldn't handle it", Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. The Celtics will now sit at 13-2, with the NBA's best record, when they take on the West-leading defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in a marquee nationally televised matchup between the league's best offense (Golden State, averaging a blistering 116.1 points per 100 possessions) and its No. 1 defense (Boston, allowing a minuscule 95.8 points-per-100). "They play fast, and Golden State, that's what they do. But yeah, this was a good game for us".

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"They're obviously a great team, and whenever it seemed like we were able to make a run, they would come back with a run of their own", Harris said.

The Celtics carved out some major space with a 19-2 third-quarter run that led to an 80-72 advantage at the start of the fourth, but it did little to cement momentum.

Irving returned with 4:45 remaining, moments after watching Marcus Morris hit a 3-pointer with a 95-83 lead.

"We're just gelling together, and we're defending our (butts) off", Morris said. "You've got to have the complete game, and that's where we were lacking".