Postgame wrap: Celtics 124, Pelicans 107

Boston Celtics vs New Orleans Pelicans

Boston's lead ballooned to as many as 20 points in the second quarter. "It's going to be a Herschel Walker-type of deal to go get Davis". There was a sense of urgency right from tip-off and Boston jumped out to a 15-point lead in the opening frame. That's how we've got to start playing for the rest of the year if we want to be one of those good teams in the East. "He's just the guy that brings that energy that we need at the beginning of the game".

Irving closed out a 26-point, 10-assist performance with a 3-pointer and a tough baseline fade over Davis, and the Celtics pulled away late for a 124-107 victory over the Pelicans on Monday night.

Boston are supposedly on the list of teams he would consider joining, however the "Rose Rule" prevents the Celtics from essentially trading for Davis with Kyrie Irving on his current contract. The former ACC player of the year is waiting patiently in the Kings depth chart behind bigs Willie Cauley-Stein and Nemanja Bjelica, but it will be hard to keep them there if he can keep performing like he did in his 20 point and 17 rebound game against the defending champion Warriors. The Pelicans did make some runs as the Celtics struggled to close quarters, and New Orleans had their deficit down to six early in the fourth quarter.

"We really had that mindset going that we wanted to start off the game and have a defensive presence", said Irving. "We've got to get back to who we are". The former first overall selection's best performance came against the National Basketball Association leading Raptors with a dazzling display for 43 points and 11 assists in an overtime win that came down to a couple of clutch Irving buckets.

And as for Irving, he's leading the team. "That's the only thing that matters right now".

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The Celtics head back to Boston for a Friday night showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Celtics as a whole played pretty well on Monday night. 'The Celtics, at some point, if you want to get a Kawhi Leonard or in this vehicle Anthony Davis you can't just protect your five-man core.

Brad Stevens: "We won't be settled on a starting lineup ... until forever". "And when he's playing with me, we play pretty well together".

Celtics guard Marcus Smart said "words can't even explain" the frustration he's feeling with the losses.

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