Irving: 'Brilliant' Stevens makes it easy for me to be clutch

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Kyrie Irving has been taking over during "winning time" and credits Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens for putting him in a position to succeed in late-game scenarios.

"(Stevens) understands the talent that I have at that point, especially in the fourth quarter," Irving told the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn.

"But I also understand his brilliant mind. So when we're preparing and going through walk-through or simulating situations, it's kind of easy to just go off one another. I'm able to see the reads and what's going to happen, and then he makes the play-calls and what he sees out there. And we're just continuously building that trust with one another. So it's pretty easy."

Irving is leading the league in clutch scoring this season with 5.5 points on 57.6 percent shooting from the field, 33.3 percent from long range, and 86.7 percent from the free-throw line, and has led the C's to an 8-2 record in games within five points in the final five minutes.

Related - Irving: I was 'unbelievably craving' an intellectual coach like Stevens

Boston leads the league with a net rating of plus-12.9 in fourth quarters, thanks in large part to its floor general. With Irving on the court, the C's have an offensive rating of 119.8 versus 103.5 without him. He's been instrumental for the Celtics, who've reeled off 15 straight wins and sit atop the standings at 15-2.

The four-time All-Star says Stevens is the mastermind behind it all, and offered an analogy for his relationship with his bench boss.

"He's the man, so I just try to soak up as much knowledge as possible," he said. "Just being in kind of the passenger seat and then also, it's like having a driving-school teacher. He's driving you the whole time, then he puts you in the driving seat sometimes and you're able to see the road. When you're able to bounce ideas and have that type of connection, and it's still developing, it's pretty awesome."

Related: Despite 14-game win streak, Stevens feels Celtics must 'play a lot better'

- With h/t to MassLive

Irving: 'Brilliant' Stevens makes it easy for me to be clutch
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