The Boston Celtics had lost five of six since the All-Star break before they strolled into Oracle Arena on Tuesday night and blew the doors off the Warriors in an emphatic win that, at the least, indicated they had it in them to still play like a championship contender.
That performance will quiet the whispers about what’s wrong with the Celtics, at least for a bit, but it remains to be seen if Boston is to make a late run to climb the standings in the East. Their next test will come on the road in Sacramento on Wednesday in the second leg of the northern California back-to-back.
If the Celtics are to verify their win over the Warriors with another over the Kings — a team desperate for wins to stay alive in the Western Conference playoff race — they’ll have to do so without Kyrie Irving. The team announced Irving would sit out on Wednesday night with a thigh contusion, leaving it to Terry Rozier and the rest of the backcourt to pick up the slack in his absence.