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Celtics are unstoppable; Irving unloads 30 points

Curry, Durant join forces as Warriors rally from 22-point halftime deficit


Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving, left dribbles against Atlanta Hawks' Dennis Schroder. Boston won 110-99. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving, left dribbles against Atlanta Hawks’ Dennis Schroder. Boston won 110-99. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta – Kyrie Irving scored 30 points, Jaylen Brown added a career-high 27 and the Boston Celtics won their 15th straight game with a 110-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

At 15-2, Boston leads the NBA and matched the best start in franchise history through 17 games. The winning streak is the club’s fifth-longest, four behind the 2008-09 team that set the franchise mark.

Dennis Schroder had 23 points, and Kent Bazemore added 19 for Atlanta. The Hawks are an Eastern Conference-worst 3-13, but they still had plenty of adrenaline following a 46-point victory over Sacramento – the biggest in franchise history – two nights ago

The Celtics erased a 16-point deficit to take their first lead on Brown’s 3-pointer midway through the third. It marked Boston’s fourth win when trailing by at least 16 during the streak.

Irving, playing with a protective mask to protect a minor facial fracture, ended the game with a right-handed finger-roll layup, delighting a few thousand Boston fans who were chanting “MVP! MVP!” in the fourth quarter. In 31 minutes, Irving made 10 of 12 shots, including five 3-pointers, and hit all five of his free throws.

WARRIORS 124, 76ERS 116
PHILADELPHIA – Stephen Curry scored 35 points, Kevin Durant had 27 and defending NBA champion Golden State overcame a 22-point halftime deficit to beat Philadelphia.

Joel Embiid scored 21 points and Ben Simmons had 23 points and 12 assists for Philadelphia. The 76ers led 47-28 after one quarter and 74-52 at the half.

But the Warriors erased that large deficit with a furious rally in the third quarter. Curry’s 3-pointer got them within one point. He then made a pair of free throws to give Golden State a 90-89 lead.

The two-time NBA MVP hit another 3 and Draymond Green blew past a defender for a dunk to make it 99-89 going into the fourth.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – James Harden scored 29 points, Clint Capela had 17 points and 13 rebounds and Houston beat Memphis.

Houston guard Chris Paul added 17 points and six assists in his second game since returning from a left knee injury. Paul and Harden combined for 10-of-19 shooting from beyond the arc, and the Rockets were 18 for 43 from 3-point range overall.

JAZZ 125, MAGIC 85
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rodney Hood scored 31 points, Derrick Favors had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Utah routed Orlando to snap a three-game losing streak.

The 40-point margin matched the Magic’s worst home loss in team history.

PORTLAND, Ore. – C.J. McCollum scored 25 points, Damian Lillard had 22 and Portland handed Sacramento its ninth consecutive road loss.

DALLAS – Wesley Matthews scored a season-high 22 points and Dallas beat Milwaukee to stop a four-game slide.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Kemba Walker had 26 points, Dwight Howard added 16 points and 16 rebounds and Charlotte snapped a six-game losing streak with the victory over struggling Los Angeles. (The Associated Press)

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