Irving shines as Celtics beat Wizards to win seventh straight

Boston’s Kyrie Irving scored the Celtics final 12 points in a win over the Washington Wizards (AFP pic)

LOS ANGELES: Kyrie Irving drained a clutch three-pointer with 16 seconds left as the short-handed the Boston Celtics used a variety of interchangeable parts on offence to beat the Washington Wizards 130-125 in overtime on Wednesday.

Irving delivered a game-high 38 points, including consecutive three-pointers in the final 40 seconds of overtime, to propel Boston past the Wizards for their seventh-straight NBA victory.

Irving outduelled Wizard star guard John Wall and scored Boston’s last 12 points but he didn’t get the job done alone.

Jayson Tatum scored 12 points and grabbed 12 boards for a double-double and Marcus Morris added 27 points for the Celtics, which played without three top players, comprising Al Horford, Gordon Hayward and Jaylen Brown.

The Celtics had five players in double figures and made all 25 of their free throws.

Elsewhere, Jeremy Lamb sank the game winning shot with less than a second left to lift the Charlotte Hornets to a thrilling 108-107 victory over the struggling Detroit Pistons, who failed to hold onto a 10-point lead late in the contest.

Lamb’s 22-foot jump shot with 0.3 seconds on the clock resulted in a penalty to the Hornets. Lamb’s teammate Malik Monk ran onto the court before the final horn sounded to celebrate and was called for a technical. The basket still counted and the Pistons ran out of time.

Kemba Walker finished with a game-high 31 points and had nine assists and eight rebounds for the Hornets, who won their third straight and moved into sixth place in the Eastern Conference — a half-game ahead of Detroit.

Blake Griffin had 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Pistons, who have lost six straight.