Kyrie Irving helps spark strong start and Celtics hold off Hornets
Boston guard Kyrie Irving and Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard become entangled while chasing a loose ball in first quarter action. AP

KYRIE Irving soared for a dunk off an Al Horford pass to highlight his Boston preseason debut and the Celtics went on to beat the Charlotte Hornets, 94-82, on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time).

Irving played 19 minutes, scoring six in the first quarter and finishing with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and tw steals, while Gordon Hayward also started in the Celtics’ first game, delivering five points on 2 of 6 shooting.

Daniel Theis led the Celtics with 12 points.

The Hornets got 17 points from sub Jeremy Lam, while Kemba Walker scored 12 and Nicolas Batum added 10.



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