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Kyrie Irving exits game versus Pacers with left knee soreness

Kyrie Irving, Celtics

The injury bug has hit the Boston Celtics yet again on Sunday night when star point guard Kyrie Irving did not play during the second half of today’s contest against the Indiana Pacers due to left knee soreness.

The Celtics made the official announcement that Irving would be out for the remainder of Sunday’s game at TD Garden on their team’s Twitter account.

The Celtics, who led by as many as 12 points and headed into halftime with a 50-40 lead over the Pacers, simply could not keep up in the second half during Irving’s absence and fell 99-97 at home. Boston was already without the services of All-Star center Al Horford (illness) and shooting guard Jaylen Brown due to his concussion sustained earlier this week in a scary fall against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Despite the frustrating loss, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens says he took a lot of positives over his team’s performance tonight and really admired their ability to keep fighting following Irving’s exit.

“Hats off to our young guys,” coach Stevens said after the game, per Celtics reporter Marc D’Amico. “I thought they battled. They really battled today.”

Both Boston and Indiana made 12 shots from long distance as a team, but the Pacers were much more efficient and hit on 22 of their attempts from behind the arc compared to the Celtics’ 37 attempts.

On the night, point guard Marcus Smart led the Celtics with 20 points on 6-of-12 shots made from 3-point range, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals. With Irving out the entire second half, guard Terry Rozier scored 16 points in 34 minutes off the bench.