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Kyrie Irving confident in Celtics heading into the homestretch

Irving says his focus is on “connectivity” as the playoffs approach.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES - The Boston Celtics won their third straight game on Saturday night at Staples Center, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers by a score of 120-107. Kyrie Irving said the team’s recent success has to do with their focus on connectivity and ability to be on the same page. If they want to finish the regular season strong, Irving says these themes need to continue to be the driving factors.

“Everybody has to step up, but it starts with me,” said Irving about the remainder of the season. “It starts with my energy out there and my spirit. When everyone’s on the same page, we’re a different team. We weren’t doing that consistently throughout this season and now it’s more important than ever for us to have connectivity and be together and that’s where my focus is. That helps me play at a high level when all my teammates are playing at a high level.”

When this is the case, Irving knows the Celtics are a dangerous team and will be come playoff time.

“We have enough guys on this team to make a very deep run in the playoffs,” said Irving. “Right now it’s just about finishing off the regular season very very strong and going out there and feeling good in the playoffs. That’s where the fun is. That’s where we have the most fun.”

Despite continuously saying that he’s can’t wait for the playoffs, Irving has been playing very well through the last legs of the regular season. He finished Saturday’s win with 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on 12/18 shooting, but his focus still remains on the postseason.

“The stuff that happens in the regular season, people barely remember it,” said Irving. “When it comes to playoffs, that’s when you want to be playing your best basketball.”

Gordon Hayward continued his solid play on the Celtics’ current road trip, posting 14 points on 6/8 shooting. Over the last three games, the 28-year-old is averaging 19.0 points, while shooting 70.6 percent from the floor and 41.7 percent from deep. He’s +46 over that span, which is the best on the team for the road trip. Hayward’s says he doesn’t focus on his shooting as much as he does wins.

“I try not to judge my performance based on if I’m shooting the ball well or not, but I think I’ve been aggressive in each of the games,” said Hayward of his recent play. “I’ve definitely made winning plays for our team and the thing I am most aware of is that we’ve won in all three of them.”

With last night’s win, the Celtics are now a half-game out of the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, and just 1.5 games back from the No. 3 seed.

The Celtics will have a day off on Sunday before facing the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night at 10:30 PM EST.

Check out what Brad Stevens and Marcus Smart had to say following the Celtics win over the Lakers below:

Brad Stevens:

Marcus Smart:

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