Al Horford and Kyrie Irving are still learning about each other as the Boston Celtics try to find some chemistry with an overhauled roster and minus the injured Gordon Hayward.

After admiring Horford’s game from afar, Irving is thrilled to be working with the multi-skilled big man.

“I played against Al for the last six years, and now I have him on my team,” said Irving, who had 20 points and seven assists in Tuesday’s 110-89 win at home against the New York Knicks “Being able to utilize him and understand where he likes the ball. I’ve played with guys who could get the board and push it, but I’ve never played with a 5 man who’s got it off the board and just pushed it like that.

“The adjustment is still happening, and I told him in the third quarter we’re going to continue to get better, continue to learn one another, and once we get that understanding, we’ll be a lot better because there’s still times where he doesn’t want to get in my way and I don’t want to get in his way. We’re at that point which is natural, but the exciting part is we’ll only continue to get better.”

Horford had his usual multifaceted game, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. There’s a lot there for a new teammate to learn.

“Just learning to make the game easier for one another,” Irving said.

“Hit him on back-door cuts, knowing when guys are going to come off screens looking to double me, and being able to utilize his screen setting as well as his passing ability.”


NETS 112, CAVALIERS 107: Spencer Dinwiddie made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 43 seconds left while starting for the injured D’Angelo Russell, and host Brooklyn overcame LeBron James’ first triple-double of the season to beat Cleveland.

James had 29 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in his 56th triple-double, but he missed two free throws – the second intentionally – with the Cavaliers trailing by two with 7.6 seconds remaining. DeMarre Carroll then hit a free throw and the Cavs’ long inbounds pass intended for James went out of bounds.

Dinwiddie scored 22 points for the Nets, who blew a 14-point lead in the final quarter but recovered to improve to 3-2 – the same record as the defending Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers.

SPURS 117, HEAT 100: LaMarcus Aldridge continued his hot start by scoring 31 points, Rudy Gay added a season-high 22 off the bench and San Antonio stayed unbeaten by winning at Miami.

The win was No. 1,154 for San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich, now one shy of matching Phil Jackson for sixth-most in NBA history.

PISTONS 122, TIMBERWOLVES 101: Tobias Harris scored 34 points, Avery Bradley added 20 and Detroit won at Minneapolis.

Andre Drummond had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Pistons, who improved to 3-2. All five Detroit starters reached double figures, as did reserve Henry Ellenson.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, while Andrew Wiggins added 21 points. Minnesota lost for the second straight night.

ROCKETS 105, 76ERS 104: Eric Gordon hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Houston over host Philadelphia.

HORNETS 110, NUGGETS 93: Frank Kaminsky scored 20 off the bench, Dwight Howard had 15 points and 19 rebounds, and Charlotte won at home.

THUNDER 114, PACERS 96: Paul George was held to 10 points against his former team, but Russell Westbrook’s triple-double picked up the slack and helped Oklahoma City win at home.

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