BOSTON — Kyrie Irving was entertained by what he saw of last season’s Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards fireworks, especially the seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Monday, the point guard gets to put his own stamp on the rivalry as part of the NBA’s Christmas showcase.

“The playoffs are intense anyway, but you definitely got the feel that in the regular season, when they were playing against one another, both teams jawing back and forth,” Irving said Saturday night after a 117-92 win over Chicago, another Celtics playoff rival last season.

“I don’t mind those type of games. I just look forward to playing against a good Washington team. It’s always a great matchup, and a test for us as a team and a group to figure it out. Going against some great players who individually separate themselves and then when they’re all collectively playing well, they’re a good team. ”

But Marcus Smart questioned whether there is legitimate hate in the relationship.

“We never hated anybody. I don’t think nobody really hates anybody,” he said. “As a competitor, you just want to go out there and do everything you can to win. And this game is 80 percent mental. If you can get under your opponent’s skin early, it’s half the battle.

“You know, we don’t hate anybody. We get it. We’re competitors too. And like I said, if you can’t get up to play basketball, especially for a big game like that on Christmas, then I don’t know what to tell you.”

Look good, play good

Backup center Daniel Theis, who has worn a generic plastic mask to protect his broken nose, switched to a customized mask made by the same technician who designed Irving’s mask. He responded with his finest night as a Celtic: 10 points and 15 rebounds off the bench.

“I could see more. It’s better, so I felt better on the court,” he said of the mask’s bigger eyeholes – an adjustment that also helped Irving. “I don’t know, but it’s fitted to my face now. The eyes are bigger, so I can see.”

Theis felt so good that he logged 18 of his 24 minutes consecutively in the second half. Coach Brad Stevens joked that Theis needed oxygen after the game.

“At the end I was very tired. I gave everything, because I know we have (today) off to celebrate Christmas, so I could go out there,” said Theis.