Harden recorded his fourth consecutive 40-plus-point game and set an National Basketball Association record with his eighth successive 35-plus-point, five-plus-assist effort, though he did commit nine turnovers.
Celtics coach Stevens is unsure if he will have to do without Irving against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday. "We just got out (in the second half) and played like we've been playing".
The Spurs, who trailed by as many as 12 points as they struggled offensively in the first half, recorded their seventh consecutive home victory over the Celtics. We don't go into a game and say we want to take this number of threes, this number of long twos. "I just know he's not there tonight". Boston shot better from 3-point range (35 percent) than San Antonio did from the field (33 percent) in the first half.
The injury occurred when Spurs forward Marco Belinelli inadvertently caught Irving with an elbow, sending the star guard to the ground in pain.
San Antonio (21-17) entered half-time trailing 52-46 but then returned to score 46 points in the third quarter. After taking New Year's Day off, Boston returns to action January 2 to open a four-game homestand.
Stephen Curry recovers in only a way Stephen Curry can, with a nothing-but-net 3-pointer.
Boston Celtics have a 21-14 record (18-17 against the spread) so far this season and now sit in the 5 place of the East.
Popovich said Gay, who was injured in Saturday's win over the LA Clippers, would not play Monday against the Boston Celtics. Poeltl started three of the Spurs' first four games before joining the team's bench. He was active for the past two games on the road against the Nuggets and Clippers, but the Spurs chose to keep him out until returning home.
Stevens was critical of his team's defense and admitted that any team that gives up 46 points in one quarter "is going to get beat".