By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Kyrie Irving got a great look at a game-winning shot in the closing seconds of regulation Wednesday night against the Wizards.
His last-second floater wasn’t a particularly difficult shot, one that he’s made thousands of times throughout his career. But his runner clanged off the rim and the Celtics and Wizards needed overtime to decide their first matchup of the season.
Maybe Kyrie missed on purpose, because he put on an absolute clinic in the extra frame. He scored 12 of the C’s 17 points in overtime, draining a pair of dagger threes en route to a 130-125 victory — Boston’s seventh straight.
Those daggers threes were not your ordinary triples, either. Both were borderline absurd in their own way.
His first came with 42 seconds left and the Celtics trailing 123-122. Irving took a feed from Terry Rozier on the left wing, but was quickly blanketed by John Wall, who gave Irving no space to operate. That didn’t matter to Irving, and neither did having Wall’s left hand in his face. He rose up and drained the improbable shot to give the Celtics a 125-123 edge, the kind of shot that causes fans to make odd and uncomfortable noises; ones that can only be explained with, “You have to see what Kyrie just did.”
Wall promptly answered on the other end with an easy game-tying layup, which the Celtics let him do far too often (and far too easily) to close Wednesday night’s contest. But that just set up even more heroics from Irving.
After taking the in-bounds, Irving casually dribbled out some clock near center-court. With 18 seconds left in the game and 11 on the shot clock, Irving took two steps in, halfway between center-court and the three-point line. With no hesitation, he threw up a rainbow right in Wall’s face, one that splashed down with a pot of gold for Boston.
He could have shot that from Pennsylvania Avenue and it would have tickled the twine.
More clutchness from Kyrie, more odd noises from Celtics fans. Even Wizards fans were in awe of Irving’s performance, serenading him with MVP chants when he stepped to the line for a pair of free throws to close out the win.
Irving was just 2-for-9 from downtown before hoisting up his first ridiculous three, but he never hesitated on either of his preposterous shots. Brad Stevens has seen Irving do some amazing things over the last 14 months, but even the Celtics head coach was shaking his head after the win.
“Those last two shots were amazing. The one in front of our bench was a joke,” said Stevens. “How tough that was, he made it look easy.”
“Just trying to win the game, honestly,” said Irving, who finished the evening with a game-high 38 points. “Just trying to get enough separation. Three-pointers are pretty much a dagger, so I just try to get my feet set, get my elbow pointed to the rim. It was a little deep out, but a very make-able shot.”
With ice flowing through his veins, Irving is never afraid to take the hero shots with the game on the line. He scored 16 of his 48 points over the final seven minutes of the game, another amazing performance for Irving in a Celtics uniform.
There’s a good chance that on any given night, Kyrie Irving is going to do something special. Whether it’s a ridiculous layup thanks to an other-worldly move that at no one else could concoct or a dagger three with a defending in his face, Irving is going to do something that leaves you questioning everything you thought you knew about the science of basketball.
You just never know what Irving is going to pull out of his bag of tricks, which is what really makes him so much fun to watch.