Celtics win sixth straight

07 January 2018 07:24:13 EST

The Boston Celtics lead the Toronto Raptors by three games in the Atlantic Division after defeating the Brooklyn Nets 87-85 on Saturday.

Kyrie Irving led the way for the visitors to the Barclays Center with 21 points on 8-of-22 from the floor and Irving's shooting woes were indicative of the entire Boston squad as the Celtics shot a poor 37.8% from the floor, 27.8% from long range and a stunningly bad 53.3% from the charity stripe.

As implied by the numbers above, Boston won because the Nets were even worse as they hit 33% from the field to see their own two-game winning streak come to an end.

The Celtics, 20/1 to win the Eastern Conference, will almost certainly need to be better when they travel to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Thursday to face the 76ers.

The Sixers have clawed their way back to .500 on the campaign and are 19-19, good for third in the division behind Boston and Toronto and ninth overall in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors are even in the loss column with the Celtics, having lost just 10 games all season. Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar Derozan each scored 20 points in the comprehensive 129-110 victory over the Bucks in Milwaukee on Friday and now follow Boston into Brooklyn to take on the Nets on Monday.

It's the final contest of a three-game road swing before Toronto heads home to the Air Canada Centre for games against the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

The Celtics are 66/1 to win the NBA title this year with Toronto 10/1 and the Cavaliers priced at 11/1.

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