Kyrie Irving had a message Wednesday night for any critic who has labeled him as only a scorer. That message came in the form of a career-high 18 assists against the No. 1 team in the NBA on national television.
Taking the form of a true point guard for his Boston Celtics, Irving helped facilitate a 117-108 win over the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden.
“Somehow people still think I can’t pass,” Irving said with a chuckle, after dishing out only two fewer assists than Toronto logged as an entire team.
The Raptors, who surrendered a season-high 43 points to Irving in their last matchup, were so concerned with containing Boston’s leading scorer that they would often funnel him into open space while leaving others wide open.
On top of his 18 assists, Irving also managed to score 27 points of his own. In doing so, he became the first NBA player to log at least 27 points and 18 assists in a game since Chris Paul tallied 30 points and 19 dimes on Dec. 18, 2009. He also joined Bob Cousy and Sherman Douglas as the only players in Celtics history to accomplish such a feat.