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Boston Celtics def. Phoenix Suns 116-109 (OT) | Powered by CLNS Media

Boston Celtics def. Phoenix Suns 116-109 (OT) | Powered by CLNS Media”

It was the kind of win that the Celtics needed at this point of the season.

At least Barkley has a recorded account of a rare, fleeting fun moment during the Suns' 2-9 start to their season. The Celtics won 116-109 after an overtime period in which Irving either scored or assisted on all but one of his team's field goals.

"That team in the second half, I know who that is", said Irving. "Miscommunications on defence. A little bit of everything", Booker said.

Irving led the way with 39 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and overtime. And lest we forget, Irving also struggled early in the season.

Boston got the lead down to 14 in the second, but a 3 from Booker gave the Suns a 48-26 advantage with 4:31 left in the half.

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That team was the same Celtics squad that routinely overcame double-digit deficits during last year's 55-win campaign.

For the first time this season, the Celtics were the underdog again. Irving was the only starter to make a field goal in the first half. The other four starters - Brown, Gordon Hayward, Al Horford and Tatum - missed all 15 of their shots. G Marcus Smart surpassed 1,000 rebounds and 400 steals for his career. His defensive stops disrupted the Suns, while his shooting made all the difference for him and the rest of the Celtics.

"I go from starting in the playoffs to coming off the bench". No title contender, having dropped the first two games of a long road trip, should need to rally back from 17 down over the final seven minutes of regulation against basement-dwelling opposition.

Stevens called Ayton a "special talent" when asked about the rookie before the game.

Celtics will take on the Jazz Friday before closing out their five-game west coast swing in Portland on Sunday.



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