NBA wrap: Celtics holds off Hawks for ninth straight win

Boston Celtics is on its longest winning streak in seven years and owns the best record in NBA.

Kyrie Irving scored 35 points as the Celtics captured their ninth straight victory in the NBA.   -  AFP

Despite losing Gordon Hayward to a gruesome injury and starting the season 0-2, Boston Celtics is where it wants to be — on top of the NBA. 

Following Monday night's 110-107 win over the Hawks, Boston is on its longest winning streak in seven years and owns the best record in the league. 

Kyrie Irving scored 35 points and Jayson Tatum added 21 as the Celtics captured their ninth straight victory. Irving shined with his ball-handling skills on Monday at Philips Arena, weaving in and out of traffic and making defenders miss with quick moves to the basket. 

Irving also hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining giving Boston a 104-103 lead, one they would not relinquish as Atlanta dropped to 2-9 on the year. 

Celtics big man Al Horford enjoyed his return to Atlanta, finishing an assist shy of a triple-double. Horford totaled 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the win. Horford spent nine seasons with the Hawks before signing with Boston before the start of last season.

STUD OF THE NIGHT: Kevin Durant registered a plus-23 in the Warriors’ 97-80 win over the Heat. Despite knocking down just one 3-pointer, Durant scored team-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds, six assists and three blocks.

DUDS OF THE NIGHT: The Suns: Monday's Nets-Suns game was supposed to be a high-scoring affair but poor shooting, fouls and turnovers were the theme in the Nets' 98-92 road win. No. 4 overall pick Josh Jackson scored just four points on 1-of-6 shooting for Phoenix. Also making just one field goal were Marquese Chriss, Tyson Chandler, Alex Len and Troy Daniels. Dragan Bender was held scoreless for the 4-7 Suns.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Suns guard Devin Booker became the fourth-youngest player to reach 3,000 career points behind only LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

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