Kyrie Irving, Celtics survive late charge by Hawks in 129-120 win

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BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving just missed his second straight triple-double with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, Jaylen Brown scored 23 points with a key 3-pointer and the Boston Celtics held off the Atlanta Hawks 129-120 Saturday after blowing a 25-point second-half lead.

Marcus Morris had 19 points and Jayson Tatum 18 for Boston, which has won six of eight.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 26 points, John Collins scored 20 with 11 rebounds, Taurean Price had 17 points and Vince Carter scored 16.

Irving had his second career triple-double in a win over Sacramento on Thursday.

It could have been a costly victory for the Celtics after forward Gordon Hayward suffered a strained neck early in the game and didn’t return.

After Boston squandered the 25-point lead, Brown nailed his 3 from the right corner, sparking a 9-0 spurt that gave the Celtics a 121-112 edge with 3 1/2 minutes left.

The Celtics held their big lead late in the third but got just one basket in 7 1/2 minutes – on a three-point play by Tatum – when the Hawks outscored them 28-6 to cut it to 109-106 on Young’s 3-pointer with 7:25 to play.

Atlanta tied it at 112 on Kent Bazemore‘s two free throws.

Boston led by 12 at halftime and went on a 15-3 run midway into the third to push its lead to 103-78 on Irving’s step-back 3-pointer from the left wing.

But Atlanta had a 14-2 spree late in the quarter, slicing it to 105-92.

The Celtics started hot from the floor and were shooting 66.7 percent late in the second quarter when they opened a 16-point lead (66-50). They carried that into a 74-62 edge at intermission, matching their season high for points in any half.