Kyrie Irving's Efficient 45 Points Not Seen on Celtics Since Larry Bird

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffNovember 21, 2017

A yellow spot light shines across the face of Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving as he looks up at the scored board late in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Dallas. Irving scored 47 points in the 110-102 overtime win. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving finished with 47 points on 72.7 percent shooting during Monday's 110-102 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks. In the process, he became the first Celtic since Larry Bird in 1989 to drop at least 45 points on 70 percent shooting, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Bird achieved the feat twice in his career, with the other time coming in 1983 when he scored 53 points on the Indiana Pacers while making 70.0 percent of his looks. Aside from Bird and Irving, Kevin McHale is the only other player in Boston's history to rack up those numbers. He did so in 1985, dropping 56 points on the Detroit Pistons while shooting 78.6 percent, per Basketball Reference.

Scoring 45 points is nothing new for Irving, who has racked up six in 398 games played. But Monday marked just his second time he's shot better than 70 percent while doing so. The other occasion was when he torched the Los Angeles Lakers in March of last season for 46 points on 71.4 percent from the field.

This season marks the first campaign Irving is spending on another team besides the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted him with the first overall pick in 2011. Irving was traded over the summer in exchange for Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick and the Miami Heat's 2020 second-round pick.

By Irving's standards, his numbers this season have been relatively average, though he's helped lead the Celtics to a 16-2 record after an 0-2 start. He's posting 22.5 points, 5.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from deep. His biggest improvement is on the defensive end, where he improved his defensive rating (an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions) over last season from 112 to 98.


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