Celtics secure narrow win, thanks to late three-pointer

Celtics Finish Off Four-Game Road Trip With 111-110 Win Over Nuggets

Celtics Finish Off Four-Game Road Trip With 111-110 Win Over Nuggets

Updates with new lead, quotes. "We know they're a good team, so we just had to buckle down and get the win somehow".

Kyrie Irving scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, Jaylen Brown hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining and the struggling Celtics edged the Denver Nuggets 111-110 on Monday night despite blowing a big lead.

The Nuggets' average margin of victory in their last five games has been 1.6, up from 0.6 for the season.

"I thought we were gassed at the end of the game", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

After scoring 37 points on 13-of-18 shooting in Saturday's loss to the Golden State Warriors, Irving turned in another sharp performance from the field in Monday's victory. Denver almost added to their misery. After Jamal Murray (18 points) sank a 3-pointer to cut the Spurs' lead to two with 31.6 seconds left, Denver got a defensive stop when Danny Green missed a corner 3. Those down-to-the-wire defeats always sting, Malone explained, causing his mind to replay decisions and substitution patterns and play calls.

Denver made their first five three-pointers in taking a 17-12 lead, but the Spurs responded by making their first three 3s.

Once again, Manu Ginobili had a big game off the bench, scoring 14 points in 23 minutes.

The Celtics' 20-point lead dwindled down to four with six minutes to play in the third. The German rookie has proven to be a solid defender and rebounder, but if he can knock down 3-point shots consistently, he'll really improve the Celtics' spacing on offense.

KP is first-time All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, who scored 28 points - including a career-high six 3-pointers - Tuesday night.

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"I was like, no way I'm missing this one", Brown said, after missing four three-pointers earlier. It happens, guys miss cutters and open shooters all the time. "In that first half, I wasn't hitting shots".

Nikola Jokic had a double-double by the first minute of the second half for Denver, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Will Barton had 19 points, Mason Plumlee had 16 before leaving with a calf injury, Gary Harris scored 15 and Jamal Murray had 14. "But against the best team in the Eastern Conference, we gave ourselves a chance to win".

The Knicks and Celtics' long history has seen them meet 469 times in the regular season with Boston holding a 288-181 advantage in the win column.

Elsewhere, Kent Bazemore scored 22 points, including a tiebreaking three-pointer with 2:09 remaining, and the Atlanta Hawks rallied after trailing by 11 in the third quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-100. Malone wanted to emphasize that Barton needs to make the right play, not the hero play.

San Antonio continues its homestand with a game Thursday against Houston while Denver returns home - where it will play its next three contests - with a showdown versus Oklahoma City, also on Thursday. Daniel Theis added 11 points and Al Horford tallied 10 for the Celtics, who were 17-of-36 from three-point range. F Wilson Chandler sat out with an illness.

Denver's starting center left the locker room on crutches and is not expected to play Tuesday at San Antonio.

"I'm just happy because we played a great first half", Horford said.

Brown finished with nine points.

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