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Kyrie Irving led the Boston Celtics to their 13th win in a row Tuesday with 25 points in a 109-102 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
He did so wearing a clear mask to protect his face, which contrasted the black one he wore when he scored 41 points as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers in a victory over the New York Knicks in 2012.
"It's almost like having somewhat foggy blinders on," Irving said, per Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. "When I take off the mask, I can see everything. And when I have the mask on, I'm really dialed into what's in front of me. My peripherals are a little cut off, up and down. It's something to get used to."
Despite the apparent frustration, he explained having the clear mask instead of the black one helped his passing.
"I was telling some of my teammates, some of the fans, too, they were asking me whether I was going to wear the black mask. The difference with the black mask is that (teammates are) not getting the ball because I couldn't see outside of my eyesight."
Forsberg detailed the frustration Irving demonstrated with the mask during the game, noting he "repeatedly wrestled" with it and was "fidgeting with the straps at times while dribbling up the court and removing it completely during almost every dead-ball situation."
Irving suffered a facial fracture during Friday's win over the Charlotte Hornets and missed Sunday's victory over the Toronto Raptors as a result.
His status moving forward prompted an amusing exchange after Tuesday's victory:
Forsberg noted he is expected to continue wearing it for a couple of weeks, meaning it will be on for Thursday's clash with the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Irving is intimately familiar with the Warriors, considering he played them in each of the last three NBA Finals with the Cavaliers and even hit the winning three-pointer in Game 7 of the 2016 matchup. This will be his first shot at them with his new team, as Boston looks to keep things rolling atop the Eastern Conference.