Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Masked Kyrie went off 🔥 47 PTS (16/22FG) 6 ASTS Celtics grab their 16th straight win. https://t.co/QzforNp4AM2017-11-21 04:28:40
Kyrie Irving led the Celtics with 47 points on 16-of-22 shooting. Irving also dished out six assists. The 47 points are the fourth-highest in a single regular-season game by the 25-year-old point guard, according to Basketball Reference.
ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and NBA.com put his performance in perspective:
Brian Windhorst @WindhorstESPN
The night Kyrie Irving scored 57 in 2015 he did it on 32 shots, which was remarkable. Tonight he had 47 on just 22 shots.2017-11-21 04:07:20
Kyrie Irving is the first @celtics player with 45+ points and 5+ assists since Paul Pierce in 2006. BOS has won 16 consecutive games. https://t.co/gSHELc6hRC2017-11-21 04:11:27
NBA TV shared Irving's postgame thoughts:
NBA TV @NBATV
"We had to earn it." @KyrieIrving after @celtics 16th-straight win. #GameTime https://t.co/gYxEAfyN7g2017-11-21 04:26:12
"He's got every move imaginable," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said of Irving, per the team's official Twitter account. "But on top of that, he's one of the best shooters in the league."
Injured Celtics forward Gordon Hayward also marveled at his teammate:
Gordon Hayward @gordonhayward
Wow @KyrieIrving is something special! These close games are stressing me out though...on to the next2017-11-21 04:10:44
Irving stepped up in a big way down the stretch. MassLive.com's Jay King noted he had 17 points over a 12:50 stretch between regulation and overtime. That equaled the Mavs' output as a team.
Not everybody was happy to see Irving's hot shooting and Boston's big comeback, and OddsShark sympathized with those fans:
Celtics covering -7 after going down 13 in the 4th is an early candidate for bad NBA beat of the year if you were on the Mavs.2017-11-21 04:19:11
Winning 16 games in a row this early in the regular season doesn't automatically make the Celtics the favorites to win the Eastern Conference. However, it could be a good omen for the team. According to Elias Sports (via ESPN Stats & Info), 10 of the last 22 teams to notch a 16-game winning streak have won an NBA title.
Naturally, Irving's offensive outburst and the Celtics win had social media buzzing Monday night:
Tim Cowlishaw @TimCowlishaw
Kyrie. 47. Mask Of The Green Death.2017-11-21 04:06:06
Pete Blackburn @PeteBlackburn
lmao remember when some people thought the Celtics lost the Kyrie trade2017-11-21 03:45:33
Kevin O'Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
Jayson Tatum was rebounding like he was 8 feet tall during that Celtics comeback over the Mavs. And Kyrie Irving with some MVP level stuff. What a fun game.2017-11-21 04:09:46
Adam Kaufman @AdamMKaufman
Deafening MVP chants for Kyrie Irving. Again, this game is in DALLAS. #Celtics2017-11-21 04:05:26
Hardwood Paroxysm @HPbasketball
So Kyrie’s averaging 62 points on 62% shooting with 9.5 assists for every 36 minutes of clutch time this season. If you were wondering, yeah, that’s good.2017-11-21 04:26:55
Even the Celtics' most ardent supporters couldn't have expected a run like this after Hayward fractured his ankle on opening night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. At that point, it looked like 2017-18 might be a lost season for Boston as it dealt with Hayward's injury and major roster turnover in the offseason.
Instead, the Celtics own the best record in the NBA at 16-2, which is a testament to Stevens' coaching and Irving's impact on the floor.
Many wondered if Boston overpaid for Irving when it sent Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, Jae Crowder and the Brooklyn Nets' first-round pick in 2018 to the Cavs. Instead, the Celtics are unquestionably the early winners from the deal, with Monday night another example of what Irving is bringing to the team.