Andrew Wiggins

Irving returns to carry Celtics past Timberwolves 117-109

The presence of Kyrie Irving this season has made the Boston Celtics more of a dynamic team with the ball.

They've become quite the force on the other end of the court, too, as the Minnesota Timberwolves again found out.

Irving returned from a one-game absence to help Boston fend off Minnesota, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in a 117-109 victory over the Timberwolves on Thursday night that clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Celtics.

"That's one of the goals," Irving said. "Just glad we got it out of the way pretty early."

Al Horford added 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and tough defense on ...