PHO
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Irving scores 19 points as Celtics top Suns 116-111

BOSTON (AP) With Boston in danger of blowing a big fourth-quarter lead, Kyrie Irving stepped up again for the Celtics.

Irving had a key 3-pointer and a driving basket in the closing two minutes, helping Boston hold off the Phoenix Suns for a 116-111 victory on Saturday.

''Kyrie's ability to make those shots with very little space is pretty impressive,'' Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. ''We put ourselves in a bad spot after that fourth-quarter run.''

Irving finished with 19 points, leading a balanced attack for NBA-leading Boston (20-4). Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris each scored 17 points, Jayson Tatum had 15 and Al Horford added 14 points and a career-best 11 assists.

Devin Booker scored a season-high 38 points for Phoenix in his first game at TD Garden since he put up 70 against the Celtics on March 24. T.J. Warren had 19 points, and Tyson Chandler finished with 14 points and 18 rebounds.

Booker was certainly thinking about playing in Boston again.

''This whole week I've been getting questions about the game,'' he said. ''But like I said, it was a great night. Tried to come out and be aggressive. Just fell a little short.''

Phoenix cut a 17-point deficit to 105-103 on Chandler's dunk late in the game. But Irving, who returned to the game with 4 1/2 minutes left with the lead down to eight, responded with a 3 from the right wing on the next possession, and his spinning shot off the backboard made it 112-106 with 29 seconds left.

''We have to do more of that for Kyrie, so he can just go out there and not have to work so hard all the time,'' Horford said.

Leading by one late in the third, the Celtics closed the quarter with an 11-2 run. Marcus Morris' alley-oop jam in the final seconds made it 89-79.

Boston then scored the first seven points in the fourth before Phoenix rallied with 15 of the next 19 points over a five-minute stretch.

''It's just understanding the game and what's available and not making mistakes down the stretch,'' Suns interim coach Jay Triano said.

Coming off a season-low two points when he played only 22 minutes, Brown scored 16 in the opening half.

TIP-INS

Suns: Reserve C Alex Len was sidelined by a sore left ankle. ''It's still bothering him a little bit,'' Triano said before the game. ''I think if we needed him, he could play.''

Celtics: Improved to 10-2 at home. ... They shot 57.5 percent (23 of 40) in the opening half, going 9 for 17 on 3-point attempts. ... Stevens switched his starting lineup for the second half, inserting Daniel Theis and removing Aron Baynes.

OUCH

Booker banged right knees with Brown late in the first quarter and limped slowly to the bench during a timeout. He pointed toward the right side of his knee while talking to the trainer, but returned at the start of the second and nailed a jumper in the opening minute.

NOT WATCHING AGAIN

A good portion of questions to Stevens in his pregame session with the media focused on the Suns' last visit, when Booker put on his show in a Celtics' victory.

''We didn't show much of him last year,'' Stevens said. ''We talked a little bit about how he gets his points, obviously.''

In that game, Booker scored 51 after halftime, making an NBA-record 20 free throws for a half.

UP NEXT

Suns: At the 76ers on Monday in the fifth of a season-high six-game road trip. It's the first meeting between the teams this season.

Celtics: Host the Bucks in the fourth of a five-game homestand. The teams have split two games.

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Key Players
D. Booker
1 G
K. Irving
11 G
31.7 Min. Per Game 31.7
23.4 Pts. Per Game 23.4
5.2 Ast. Per Game 5.2
3.3 Reb. Per Game 3.3
45.4 Field Goal % 48.4
44.5 Three Point % 48.2
87.3 Free Throw % 86.9
  Bad pass turnover on Troy Daniels, stolen by Jaylen Brown 0:08
+ 1 Marcus Smart made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:17
+ 1 Marcus Smart made 1st of 2 free throws 0:17
  Personal foul on Devin Booker 0:17
+ 3 Devin Booker made 3-pt. jump shot 0:18
+ 1 Marcus Smart made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:23
+ 1 Marcus Smart made 1st of 2 free throws 0:23
  Personal foul on Devin Booker 0:23
+ 2 Tyler Ulis made driving layup, assist by T.J. Warren 0:25
+ 2 Kyrie Irving made finger-roll layup, assist by Al Horford 0:28
  Defensive rebound by Jayson Tatum 0:44
Team Stats
Points 111 116
Field Goals 48-99 (48.5%) 42-80 (52.5%)
3-Pointers 7-24 (29.2%) 14-31 (45.2%)
Free Throws 8-11 (72.7%) 18-23 (78.3%)
Total Rebounds 58 39
Offensive 14 4
Defensive 31 27
Team 13 8
Assists 24 32
Steals 8 8
Blocks 1 6
Turnovers 10 9
Fouls 19 16
Technicals 2 0
38 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST
14 PTS, 5 REB, 11 AST
1234T
away team logo Suns 8-16 22322532111
home team logo Celtics 20-4 31292927116
Team Stats
away team logo Suns 8-16 PPG RPG APG
home team logo Celtics 20-4 101.4 PPG 41.7 RPG 21.2 APG
Key Players
D. Booker G 24.9 PPG 4.5 RPG 4.7 APG 43.2 FG%
K. Irving G 24.4 PPG 3.8 RPG 5.1 APG 49.1 FG%
Top Scorers
D. Booker G 38 PTS 4 REB 5 AST
K. Irving G 19 PTS 0 REB 5 AST
48.5 FG% 52.5
29.2 3PT FG% 45.2
72.7 FT% 78.3
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Booker 39 38 4 5 0 0 3 6 16/29 3/8 3/3 1 3 49 -2
T. Warren 35 19 5 1 4 0 1 1 8/19 1/2 2/4 2 3 29 -9
T. Chandler 28 14 18 3 0 0 0 1 7/10 0/0 0/0 6 12 38 -2
T. Ulis 24 6 0 2 1 0 2 1 3/8 0/2 0/0 0 0 9 -7
M. Chriss 21 2 2 2 1 0 0 2 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 2 9 +1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Booker 39 38 4 5 0 0 3 6 16/29 3/8 3/3 1 3 49 -2
T. Warren 35 19 5 1 4 0 1 1 8/19 1/2 2/4 2 3 29 -9
T. Chandler 28 14 18 3 0 0 0 1 7/10 0/0 0/0 6 12 38 -2
T. Ulis 24 6 0 2 1 0 2 1 3/8 0/2 0/0 0 0 9 -7
M. Chriss 21 2 2 2 1 0 0 2 1/2 0/1 0/0 0 2 9 +1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. James 23 8 3 5 1 0 1 1 4/10 0/3 0/0 2 1 21 +2
J. Jackson 14 7 1 0 0 0 1 1 3/5 0/0 1/2 0 1 7 0
G. Monroe 19 6 8 3 0 0 1 3 2/6 0/0 2/2 3 5 19 -3
D. Bender 16 6 1 1 0 1 0 0 2/5 2/4 0/0 0 1 10 -18
T. Daniels 8 3 0 0 1 0 1 2 1/4 1/4 0/0 0 0 3 0
J. Dudley 7 2 3 2 0 0 0 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 3 9 +13
B. Knight - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Len - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Reed - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Peters - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jones Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 111 45 24 8 1 10 19 48/99 7/24 8/11 14 31 203 -25
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 31 19 0 5 2 0 3 1 8/14 2/3 1/1 0 0 28 +8
J. Brown 32 17 0 2 2 1 1 3 4/8 3/5 6/8 0 0 23 -8
J. Tatum 26 15 6 2 2 2 1 2 6/8 1/1 2/2 1 5 28 +8
A. Horford 32 14 5 11 0 1 1 1 6/10 2/4 0/0 1 4 41 -1
A. Baynes 17 6 1 2 0 1 1 2 3/6 0/0 0/0 0 1 11 +16
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Irving 31 19 0 5 2 0 3 1 8/14 2/3 1/1 0 0 28 +8
J. Brown 32 17 0 2 2 1 1 3 4/8 3/5 6/8 0 0 23 -8
J. Tatum 26 15 6 2 2 2 1 2 6/8 1/1 2/2 1 5 28 +8
A. Horford 32 14 5 11 0 1 1 1 6/10 2/4 0/0 1 4 41 -1
A. Baynes 17 6 1 2 0 1 1 2 3/6 0/0 0/0 0 1 11 +16
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
M. Morris 27 17 8 0 0 0 1 1 6/14 1/6 4/6 0 8 24 -3
M. Smart 28 13 4 7 0 1 0 2 3/6 2/5 5/6 1 3 32 +10
S. Ojeleye 15 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 2/3 2/3 0/0 0 2 8 -1
D. Theis 9 6 2 1 1 0 0 2 3/5 0/1 0/0 1 1 11 -5
T. Rozier 19 3 3 2 1 0 1 2 1/6 1/3 0/0 0 3 10 +1
G. Hayward - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Nader - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Larkin - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bird - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Allen - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Yabusele - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 116 31 32 8 6 9 16 42/80 14/31 18/23 4 27 216 +25